Taylor Wimpey and Gladman have worked together on the Coniscliffe masterplan. Credit: planning documents

Green light for 1,500-plus Darlington homes

A bumper planning committee saw approvals granted for three projects, with Taylor Wimpey and Gladman promoting the largest proposals within a combined 190-acre masterplan.

Taylor Wimpey’s consent allows outline consent for 535 homes on 70 acres north of Coniscliffe Road, on the western edge of Darlington.

Gladman is behind plans for up to 985 homes to the north of this site, in a project that could also include neighbourhood retail, a GP surgery, recreation facilities and a primary school with nursery. The two sites would be joined by a central spine road.

The Taylor Wimpey application – Coniscliffe Park South – was first submitted in 2017, initially being greeted with a storm of protest: more than 200 objections were lodged, with opponents including Darlington Friends of the Earth, Darlington Bird Club, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Countryside, two parish councils and two MPs.

Although the site has since been allocated for housing within the Local Plan and more information made available, the last couple of years have seen more than 100 further objections made. The applicant will be asked to commit to a range of contributions for transport and travel, most notably more than £250,000 towards public transport and £400,000-plus for public rights of way improvements.

ELG Planning advises Taylor Wimpey, while FPCR and Lichfields have worked with Gladman.

Gladman’s 120-acre plans concern land south of Staindrop Road. Objections were lodged from the above named correspondents, along with other parties. The developer contributions suggested for the Gladman site are close to £490,000 for public transport (funding a bus service) and close to £1m for public right of way improvements and ‘safe’ travel to school’ provision.

Elsewhere, Esh Homes also found success with its bid to deliver 44 homes on land that was formerly part of the former Blackwell Grange golf club site in South Darlington, a project that includes regeneration of historic parkland.

The land abuts the grade two-listed Blackwell Grange Hotel and will be accessed primarily from the A67 Carmel Road South. Esh proposes a range of house types and sizes, with 22 four-bedroom, 12 five-bedroom and 10 six-bedroom homes intended.

No affordable housing is proposed, with approaches to providers Home Group and Believe leading Esh to conclude there is no appetite for affordable housing at the location concerned.

Esh’s plans received 120 responses, 109 of which were classed as objections, although officers noted that some contained points of support as well as opposition.

MWE Architects and Hedley Planning Services lead Esh’s professional team.

The reference numbers on Darlington’s planning portal are 17/00632/OUTE for Taylor Wimpey, 17/00636/OUTE for Gladman and 23/00782/FUL for Esh Homes.

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