Plans for a new high-quality residential development to the east of Durham City are set to be revealed by a regional developer.
Banks Property is applying for permission for up to 450 family homes on 17.5 hectares of land to the south of the A181 Sherburn Road between Gilesgate and the A1 which has been allocated for residential development in the emerging County Durham Plan.
Around 3.5 hectares of public open space will be provided by the Bent House Lane project, along with off-site improvements including new planting and ecological enhancements, while improvements to the local road network would be put in place to ensure traffic flow remains smooth in and around the new development.
As well as contributing towards local affordable housing needs, the project is being designed to bring a range of economic, employment, environmental, supply chain and social benefits to the area, and will also include a new network of footpaths and cycleways that will link to nearby facilities, including to the retail offer at Dragonville and Damson Way and the National Cycle Route 14 to Durham City.
New bus stops will be provided on the A181 to complement the existing bus services which already go past the site, while contributions to the local education system will also form part of the scheme.
To ensure local people are fully informed about the plans and have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and make comments during the Covid-19 pandemic, Banks Property will be delivering information leaflets to around 2,000 homes in and around the area in the coming days, while further consultation will be held over the coming weeks and months.
A dedicated Bent House Lane web page containing the key plans and information has been published, and a project-specific email address through which local people can contact the project team with any queries or comments is also available.
The planning application itself will be subject to the normal consultation processes operated by Durham County Council, with Banks hoping to submit a planning application before the end of the year.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, says: “The Bent House Lane site has been allocated in the emerging Durham Plan for the sort of residential development we’re proposing and we believe it is the most appropriate location in the area for delivering this type of high quality scheme.
“Our aim to create a thriving new community that has the right sort of supporting social, environmental and transport infrastructure required to make it a positive addition to the wider Durham City area and we’re excited by the opportunities that it provides.
“As many people are currently finding, the pandemic is impacting on the ways in which we can hold the usual face-to-face community exhibitions that we like to provide for our planning applications, but we are working hard to ensure that everyone has access to comprehensive information about the scheme, can view and comment on our proposals and can contact members of the project team with any queries or ideas they might have.
“There is a growing need to increase the supply of homes within our region, so that people can move to or stay in their communities of choice, and this project is being brought forward with this need clearly in mind.
“It is the latest stage of our continuing, long-term investment in our home county, and we hope that Durham County Council’s planning committee will recognise everything that the Bent House Lane development offers when it comes to eventually consider our planning application.”