Anger at approval to build 900 homes on greenfield site near Peterlee

Protesters pictured at the Little Thorpe site.
Protesters pictured at the Little Thorpe site.

COUNCILLORS have approved a 900-home development on a greenfield site despite a six-month campaign from opposing residents.

Just two councillors went against the rest of Durham County Council’s county planning committee, which approved Southlands Management’s new homes scheme on land at Little Thorpe and north of Lowhills Road, in Peterlee.

Peterlee resident and former town councillor Susan McDonnell, who has been vocal in opposing the plans, said: “It’s a sad day but I’m not surprised.

“Those fields are going to be completely filled with houses.”

The application has divided opinion since plans were revealed in January, with residents citing traffic congestion, apparent lack of school places and the joining of Peterlee and Easington as main reasons for objection.

Susan, who lives in the Acre Rigg area of Peterlee and has previously said brownfield sites in the Peterlee area would have been more suitable for development, said members of the Peterlee FAIR (Free Association for Independent Representation) party are considering appealing.

A report ahead of the meeting had recommended that the development get the go-ahead. An extract read: “When assessed against the policies of the NPPF as a whole, and the emerging Durham Local Plan, and based on the submitted technical documents and statutory consultation responses, it is clear that there are no adverse impacts which could be considered to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of granting planning permission.”