Plans for Barton housing development to be reconsidered

A plan to bulldoze a farm and HGV centre to make way for a housing development in Barton looks set to be reconsidered by councillors.

The proposal for 27 homes, including bungalows and affordable housing, alongside five self-build development plots in Barton, near Darlington, has been submitted to Richmondshire District Council 15 months after its planning committee rejected a plan for the site that featured 35 homes.

The original scheme, which had initially included 50 homes, saw Barton Parish Council raise concerns that the development “far exceeds what the village can support without considerable erosion of the village’s green spaces”.

Parish councillors said there was a danger that with a large increase in housing numbers that Barton would lose its identity as a village and become another “commuter town” and highlighted the importance of the scheme providing “truly affordable housing” to enable young people to live there and secure the future of the school.

However, officers had recommended the scheme be granted, subject to the developers agreeing that 30 per cent of the houses would be affordable.

Rejecting the scheme, the planning committee found the potential benefits of the proposal did not outweigh their view that coupled with sustainable developments elsewhere in Barton “it would significantly exceed the amount of housing growth appropriate to the village”.

Developers behind the refreshed plans for the the north west edge of the village said the proposals featured amendments to the original scheme, including eight fewer homes and a reduction in the development area concentrated on the existing buildings and haulage yard.

In documents submitted to the council, the developers state: “The over-arching vision for this proposal is to create an attractive, high quality development, which harmonises with the existing scale and massing of Barton village and compliments the village structure and network of green open spaces.

“Additionally, the proposal seeks to create strong connectivity between the proposed new development and the existing village centre, to create a sustainable built environment for all residents.”

The developers said benefits or redeveloping the site would include the removal of the two heavy goods operating centres from the centre of the village, resulting in a reduction of heavy traffic movements through the village.

They said the scheme would also improve the landscape with the removal of the high towers on the farm and the removal of the livestock enterprise would end potential environmental health issues with the farm being close to homes.