A brief update before we go into 2022. There have been several assaults on the Durham Green Belt in 2021, some defeated but others approved. The most recent ‘live applications’ are the proposed shipping containers at the Shincliffe garden centre for holiday accommodation; the proposed doubling of the shop at Stonebridge Service Station; the conversation of barns at East Moor Leazes Farm for holiday accommodation; and the biggest is a 20-pitch football centre at Leamside. I will report on the outcomes as they occur.
Also of great interest are the two applications for major housing developments at ‘Sniperley Park’ and the County Council’s draft masterplan that is out for consultation. You will know that the approved County Durham Plan (CDP) removed a large area of green belt at Sniperley so that a housing allocation for 1,700 houses could take place. Despite all the crystal clear requirements set out in Policy 5 of the CDP including a comprehensive masterplan for the whole site, Bellway have jumped the gun with a planning application for just a part of the allocation, and a company called County Durham Land LLP have put in a planning application for the rest of the allocated site. Each claim to have provided an ‘illustrative’ masterplan but these are wholly inadequate. In any case, the two applications together significantly exceed to the specified total of 1,700 houses, and fail to address the traffic implications for the wider road network. The County Council has done the right thing and has drawn up a proper draft masterplan which is out for public consultation until 14 January 2022. Bellway and County Durham Land’s applications are obviously premature and unsatisfactory. We will submit objections to the two applications and general support for DCC’s draft masterplan
Very best wishes for the New Year!