COUNCILLORS have rejected plans for 30 houses on the outskirts of a village after being unconvinced by a developer’s pledge to build a new classroom and pedestrian crossing to alleviate the pressure of extra residents.

Members of Durham County Council’s planning committee agreed with their planning officer who said there was no need for the new estate on the southern edge of Trimdon Village.

And councillors also said they were not sure the developer’s promise for up to 50 per cent affordable housing, a new £44,000 classroom and £3,000 crossing was viable.

Peter Brookes, county councillor for Trimdon and Thornley, had urged the committee to support the development on a field between Salters Lane and Broadway Avenue.

He said Trimdon was “desperate” for more houses with space for extra children available at the village’s schools.

“Trimdon needs to grow to survive and there is a clear economic case for this development," he said.

“Shops and services, pubs and restaurants would welcome more residents.”

Councillor Brookes also said the developer, Alan Etherington, would pay for a new classroom to prevent the school being stretched by extra children, as well as a pedestrian crossing to improve safety at the entrance to the proposed estate.

He also said Mr Etherington would be prepared to designate up to half the houses as affordable.

John Byers, south west Durham planning team leader, said there was no need for extra houses, affordable or otherwise, in Trimdon.

He said the positives of the estate would not outweigh the damage done to the country views.

Twelve letters of objection were sent to the council saying the plan would ruin the landscape and overlook houses on Broadway Avenue.