Plans for a new £30m residential development on the south-west outskirts of Durham City have been given a positive welcome by local people.
Banks Property, part of the Meadowfield-based Banks Group, is developing forward plans for 271 two, three and four-bedroom family homes on the 27-acre Browney Lane site, which sits on agricultural land in Meadowfield, near to the junction of North View and Browney Lane.
Over 130 local people took their first look at outline plans for the scheme at a public exhibition held this week at Meadowfield & District Social Club, with feedback gathered at the event now being used by Banks to inform the continuing scheme design process.
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of those who completed an event feedback form said they were in favour of the proposals, with just 18 per cent expressing the opposite view – and a number of visitors even specified exactly where in the development they would like to buy a new house!
Banks is looking to submit a planning application for the site, which is identified for new housing in the County Durham Plan Preferred Options document, by the end of September, and a range of local consultation activities will continue over the next few weeks to ensure local people and groups have every opportunity to find out about and comment on the proposals.
Measures that would be introduced to improve the flow of traffic in the area if the scheme is approved were picked out by several visitors as being especially important in tackling existing local congestion problems.
Michael Shuttleworth, managing director of Banks Property, says: “We’re very pleased to have had such a positive response from so many local people to our outline proposals, and we’re now reviewing the feedback that we received at the event to see how visitors’ ideas and opinions can be acknowledged and incorporated in our scheme design.
“Traffic is a key consideration in our planning, and there was a good degree of appreciation at the exhibition of how the measures that we would put in place as part of this development would actually improve the movement of vehicles around the area, rather than adding to congestion concerns.
“A number of additional ideas relating to this topic came forward at the exhibition, and we’re now looking at how these could be utilised to further enhance our existing plans, as well as seeing how we might work with the local highway authority to address particular concerns over existing local traffic issues that were raised with us before our planning application is submitted.”
Having chosen to locate its state-of-the-art headquarters building on the nearby Meadowfield Industrial Estate last year, Banks is now looking to continue its investment in the area with a £30m scheme that would meet a growing local demand for high quality properties, and which would also bring with it a range of employment, economic and community benefits.
Around 30 new jobs would be created during the site preparation and construction phases of the scheme, and local businesses would also benefit from the influx of people that the development would bring to the area.
Investment would also be made in improving the fabric of the Browney community through a range of community benefits to be delivered alongside the development, which would be in addition to support already given to local organisations including Brandon Cricket Club and The Friends of Addison Park through the Banks Community Fund, which is administered by the County Durham Community Foundation.
Michael Shuttleworth continues: “This scheme would be an important part of the continuing regeneration of the wider Browney area, and our knowledge of what the area has to offer makes us very confident that a family-focused, high quality development of this type would prove very attractive to homebuyers.
“The direct local investment, supply chain support and job creation that are central to these proposals are exactly the sort of measures that will drive the continuing recovery of the regional economy, and the Browney Lane project would represent a further capital investment by Banks in the local area at a time when very few companies have the confidence to undertake anything so substantial.”
Anyone who would like any further information about the proposed Browney Lane scheme, but who was unable to attend the exhibition should contact the Banks Property community engagement team on 0191 378 6100 or via email@example.com