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LANCHESTER: Plans lodged for 46 homes

LANCHESTER: Plans lodged for 46 homes

Image: LDRS

Dozens of new homes could be built near a County Durham village under new plans lodged with council chiefs.

In recent months, plans were submitted to Durham County Council by Chan Commercial Ltd to redevelop land on the western edge of Lanchester.

The outline application is linked to a 3.6 hectare site near Briardene, with access proposed from the B6296, Cadger Bank.

However, all matters such as layout, scale, appearance, landscaping and access will be reserved until a later stage.

The site was previously the subject of an outline application for 52 dwellings which was refused by Durham County Council in 2016 and dismissed at appeal the following year.

One issue linked to the appeal decision included the potential harm to the Longovicium Roman Fort, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM).

According to planning documents, the new application would deliver a “more meaningful physical separation between the SAM area and the new development.”

A planning policy statement also adds that “the applicant and the associated project team are entirely different in this case ensuring a fresh approach to the proposed development of the site.”

The new approach includes proposals for a 43m wide buffer zone, running the full length of the western site boundary, which would be free from housing while offering “enhanced landscaping measures.”

A design and access statement from the applicant adds that decisions on previous housing applications had revealed areas for improvement and “direction for a more sensitive design approach.”

The statement reads: “Yes, housing development is an obvious intensification of use. However, done properly it has the potential to provide long term communities that ultimately add to the vigour and character of the place.

“This particular edge of the village presents an abrupt transition from 1960s estate and fence to agricultural land.

“This development would make for a much more appropriate transition in our view.

“It builds on the existing landscape assets, hedgerows and trees, to make a successful gradation from intensive built form to more open landscape.

“Crucially it also creates enough distance and visual softening to allow the Roman Fort to still be contemplated in an authentic way.”

The statement goes on to say: “This is not a ‘standard’ volume housebuilder solution. It is bespoke to the site and incorporates many design elements that support its important role as a ‘rural edge’ site.

“The type and form of homes, road structure and surfacing, landscape and boundary treatments all work together to make this potentially a positive contribution to the long-term success of Lanchester.”

A decision on the outline plans is expected by mid-April.

Comments on the application can be made by writing to the council’s planning department or visiting its online portal.

For more information, visit https://publicaccess.durham.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning reference: DM/20/03045/OUT

Words: Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporter

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