Miller and Barratt will each deliver 235 Durham homes. Credit: planning documents

Bellway faces rural rejection

While the housebuilder’s plans for 148 homes in Great Lumley are recommended for refusal, prospects look brighter for Miller and Barratt’s 470-home proposals in Durham.

Durham County Council’s planning committee meets on Tuesday 6 June to discuss both projects, with planning officers recommending approval for only the larger scheme.

Outline consent is already in place for the Miller/Barratt scheme, which is for a 47-acre field site south of the A181 Sherburn Road, known as the Bent House site.

With more detail added to this reserved matters application, both Miller Homes and Barratt Homes intend to deliver 235 homes, with 25% of them being classed as affordable.

In addition, 10$ of the site’s housing will be designed for older people, with 24 bungalows and 23 “multi-generational” dwellings. The housing as a whole is from two to five bedrooms, with the developers planning to evenly split tenures between their two plots.

The outline consent, granted in March 2022, covers up to 500 homes.

The professional team includes masterplanner Pod Newcastle, landscape architect Glenkemp and RWO Consulting Engineers.

Unless committee goes against officer recommendation, Bellway’s North East division – which is on something of a roll, with seven schemes due to complete this year and a start made at Lower Callerton this month – may meet with a less favourable outcome than the Sherburn Road scheme.

Bellway wants to build on a 20-acre inverted L-shape to the south-eastern edge of Great Lumley. The plans have been scaled down from 158 homes, although the number of five-bedroom houses in the mix has risen. Bellway has suggested that it pay for new bus stops and the re-routing of Go North East services to service the development.

However, opposition has mounted, from the public, with 253 objections lodged along with those from Great Lumley Parish Council, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Kevan Jones MP.

County Durham currently has the luxury of a five-year housing supply, meaning its officers can recommend refusal for schemes on unallocated sites such as this with greater confidence than others might – and that is what they have done.

The officers’ report concluded that “the development would significantly erode the open countryside setting of the settlement that currently exists, particularly to the south of Stainmore Drive, and create a settlement extension with little bearing on the current relatively well defined extent of the built up part of the settlement in this part of Great Lumley.”

The Bellway application can be viewed on the planning portal with the reference DM/22/00584/FPA, while the Miller/Barratt application’s reference is DM/22/01981/RM.

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