Plans to build 12 new homes in Peterlee have been given the go-ahead by Durham County Council.
On Tuesday, the council’s area planning committee met to discuss housing plans for land at Matterdale Road as part of a £32m investment programme across the county.
The three-bedroom properties aim to meet demand for affordable homes in Peterlee, and will be offered under the government’s ‘rent to buy’ scheme which offers reduced rent up to 20 per cent below market rate.
The scheme aims to ease the transition from renting to buying a home by allowing tenants to save for a deposit at the same time and buy their home after five years.
Principal planning officer Chris Baxter, speaking at the committee at Durham County Hall this week, said the site is not allocated as open space under planning policy, and that no objections were received by officers.
Peterlee East councillor Audrey Laing praised the application’s role as a “family housing site”, while Coun Peter Robinson also welcomed the plans.
“The site has been derelict for a long time and it’s only going to enhance the site,” he said.
Coun Owen Temple asked questions about the density of housing and parking allowance for each home.
“Sometimes we try to cram an awful lot of properties onto sites,” he said.
The committee heard there would be two spaces for each property and additional visitor spaces, and was reassured by planning officers that housing density would be “very low”.
Agent Paul Glover, speaking in support of the plans, added the site is in a sustainable area and “will bring much-needed affordable family housing to the area”.
The plans were passed unanimously by the planning committee, with construction set to start later this year subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement.
As part of this deal, the developer must pay £7,907 to reduce the number of access points to special protection areas – a requirement of the Durham Heritage Coast Partnership’s business plan 2014-15.
The developer must also pay £24,310 towards enhancing or building play facilities in the Peterlee East ward.
The Matterdale Road development is part of a programme of construction across the region by County Durham Housing Group.
Its head of development and commercial property, Kate Abson, said: “This project has been created to help Peterlee families get their first foot on to the property ladder.
“We understand that demand for affordable homes in East Durham is strong, and it was great to hear passionate support for this scheme from the council’s area planning committee members.”
The firm aims to build 300 new homes on 17 sites by 2020, with properties ranging from three-bedroom homes to wheelchair-accessible bungalows.
Local Democracy Reporting Service