MORE than 120 villagers have joined a campaign which aims to block a proposed housing scheme.

Residents of Hunwick, near Crook, have objected en masse to an application by Gleeson Homes and Regeneration for 31 homes on a grazing pasture in the village.

Gleeson wants to build a mixture of two, three and four bedroom detached and semi-detached properties on just over two acres of greenfield land to the north of Quarry Farm Close.

But the community has rallied against the proposal and vowed to again fight to protect the land– having already had its allocation for housing removed from the 1997 Wear Valley District Plan and the Durham County Council 2018 Draft Local Plan.

Objectors have written to planning authority Durham County Council with a series of concerns including flood risk, increased traffic and a lack of local services.

A spokesperson said: “The community is unhappy that previous and current consultations are being ignored, bringing into question the democratic process.

“Residents are reportedly exhausted, a term known as planning fatigue causing them unnecessary stress.”

North West Durham MP Laura Pidcock supports residents, whom she met last month. She said: “I am writing as their MP to express my disapproval of this application to build 31 houses next to to primary school on land already deemed not suitable for development.”

Governors at Hunwick Primary School are worried about how building work would affect pupils and the development's impact on drainage.

Campaigner Peter Hughes said Gleeson’s application was ‘seriously flawed’, ‘full of meaningless references’ to other sites and demonstrated a lack of sentiment for those affected.

“They are simply lining up pieces of land for profit and greed and pushing them through before the Local Plan protects them,” he said.

Pressure group Campaign to Protect Rural England is also against the plan, as it would extend into the countryside and the county already has at least a five year supply of land for housing.

The application will be considered by a planning committee in the near future.