DEVELOPERS have agreed to stump up almost £250,000 for road improvements to secure planning permission for new houses.

Durham County Council planning officers recommended approval for the proposal to build 75 homes at the former site of Chamberlain Phipps Coatings, in Catkin Way, Bishop Auckland, after receiving the cash offer.

And the promise of £241,000 to fund highways projects in the area was enough to persuade members of the council’s Area Planning Committee to back the scheme too.

The plans were rejected in June last year over concerns about the impact of extra traffic in the area.

“Essentially it’s the same scheme that was put before members,” senior planning officer Laura Eden told Thursday's meeting.

“The main difference is that in support the applicant submitted a revised transport assessment.

“It’s still not something we and they agree on. But the difference is this time they were prepared to pay the contribution – this time they are.”

The proposals sought permission for a mixture of two, three and four-bedroom semi-detached and detached dwellings, all with off-street parking and rear gardens.

Last year, planning and highways officers raised concerns about the impact this and other planned developments nearby could have on traffic in the Tindale Crescent area. It was felt this could not outweigh the accepted benefits of redeveloping a former industrial site.

But the revised offer of a cash contribution to highways works through an S106 agreement with developer, Gleeson Regeneration, was thought enough to offset this.