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Agenda item

DM/17/02799/FPA - Land to the south of Palmer Road, Dipton

Erection of 56 dwellings including landscaping and infrastructure –



The Committee considered a report of the Senior Planning Officer regarding the proposed erection of 56 dwellings including landscaping and infrastructure (re-submission) for copy see of Minutes).


The Senior Planning Officer provided a detailed presentation which included photographs of the site and plans of the proposed layout.


The Chair at this stage asked for questions from the committee.


Councillor Thompson raised a query with regard the county’s housing supply and figures stated within the Council Plan. In response the Senior Policy Officer advised that the figure quoted was that drawn from the consultation document. An announcement on the Council Plan was expected very shortly although he acknowledged that the county did have a very good supply of housing at this present time.


The Senior Planning Officer further reported that the county had a target to build 378 affordable homes this year, with a total of 196 being delivered during the period April and September 2017.


Councillor L Brown asked whether the difference between intermediate and affordable homes could be provided. The Senior Planning Officer provided an overview in response.


Further discussion took place regarding the proposed four, 2 bed units which were to be handed over to Karbon Homes.


Councillor Robinson asked whether the covenant issue had been resolved. The Senior Planning Officer advised that this was immaterial and land issues were dealt with separately by legal.


Councillor Thompson asked a further question with regard to maintenance of green areas and whether a condition could be attached to specify that these be handed to DCC for ongoing maintenance. The Solicitor advised that the council wouldn’t necessarily want responsibility for the ongoing maintenance. In any event the maintenance of land was unlikely to render the scheme unacceptable. The Senior Planning Officer advised that the scheme would include a 5 year maintenance program.


In referencing the committee’s previous decision on the application, Councillor McGaun asked for clarity on the reason for refusal the last time the application was considered. The Senior Planning Officer advised that the previous proposals were refused on the grounds of lack of affordable homes. It was noted that the original application included provision of 8 affordable homes however at the time the application was agreed the legal agreement was not signed and the application was held unapproved by the Council until it was presented again with revised proposals in July 2017.


Councillor Thompson asked whether this type of development would ever be considered for social housing. The Solicitor advised members that it would not be reasonable to ask for 100% social housing on a development of this nature.


The Chairman asked at this point whether an explanation could be given as to why the application with the inclusion of 4 affordable units was now viable for the developer when it had not been previously. The Senior Planning Officer provided an explanation for this and noted that it was positive that the developers had responded well to discussions following the last refusal.


The Chairman then asked Mr Jackson, Karbon Homes to provide an overview of the scheme proposed.


Mr Magee, local resident, addressed the committee to speak in objection to the application. He advised that he spoke on behalf of neighbours and friends who were unable to attend the meeting. He reported that all previous concerns raised or submitted held true and residents remained puzzled as to why the developers would want to develop such a difficult site. Residents were unanimous in their disapproval of the proposals.


He advised that what was required in the village was not housing, but play facilities for children. There was currently no locally equipped play provision. Two previous play sites had now been built upon and the proposed kick about area did not in his opinion meet the requirements of play provision.


In referencing the proposed affordable units he added that the provision of only 4 units which would be sold to Karbon Homes at Full Market Value for rent would not meet the affordable housing need in the area.


Mr I Prescott, Durham Villages Regeneration Company, addressed the committee to speak in support of the application. He advised that there were many benefits brought by the application including; helping the council to achieve its 5 year housing supply, provide much needed play space, biodiversity and economic benefits, including employment. He further advised that the site has suffered flooding, with surface water run-off damaging some properties in the past. The proposed scheme would reduce run off from 23.3 litres per second to 4.4 litres per second.


Mr S Jackson, Karbon Homes, addressed the committee to speak in support of the application. Mr Jackson provided some detail regarding the Homes and Communities Affordable Homes grant (HCA) which had been secured by Karbon Homes to provide four 2 bed affordable rented homes.


The Chairman then asked members for any comments or questions.


Councillor McGaun MOVED that the application be REFUSED on the grounds of loss of open space and the lack of affordable housing.


The Solicitor advised that financial figures had been submitted and approved by the council and the councils assessments had determined that the scheme would be unviable should further affordable homes be requested. She did however note that the decision rested with the committee.


Councillor Robinson suggested that the committee may be faced with no option but to approve the scheme on the basis that the previous reason for refusal, had been due to the lack of affordable housing. This scheme had now addressed that issue.


Councillor Thompson SECONDED the proposal.


Following a vote being taken the Motion was LOST.


Councillor McKeon MOVED that the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions as listed in the report.


Councillor Wilson SECONDED the proposal.


Following a vote being taken it was


Resolved: That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions as listed in the report.

Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714