Forward think Sedgefield development plan submitted to Durham County Council

A forward-thinking development blueprint to deliver new homes and community facilities in Sedgefield, County Durham, has been submitted for planning after listening to local residents.

The hybrid application outlines plans for 461 homes on two sites off Beacon Lane and Salters Lane, and new community facilities for the benefit of the whole of the town, including new education, health and training facilities.

In May, more than 170 people attended a two-day consultation event held by UK investment business, the ESRG Group, to discuss the plans and the majority (62%) of attendees said that they supported the proposals.

David Evans, director of the ESRG Group, said:

“The consultation event was very positive and we have listened to and acted upon the feedback from residents about the Sedgefield development plans.

“We have made a number of changes to take into account people’s views by incorporating 11 high-quality bungalows into the plan – residents expressed a high level of interest in this type of property.

“We have also made provision for additional facilities for young people to meet some of the needs outlined to us. At the public consultation it was decided that one of the large retail blocks would become a youth community centre facility that would include a climbing wall, internet cafe and laser tag zone for the younger residents of Sedgefield. There was a high level of interest in this facility at the public consultations.”

“Our proposals have the potential to create future jobs, quality homes and community facilities that can deliver significant benefits, through healthcare and employment training provision, for Sedgefield residents.”

Designed with support from award-winning North East practice Gradon Architecture and Newcastle-based Haylock Planning and Design, the proposals put forward by the ESRG Group meet the identified need for more housing and improved community facilities in the town.

Graham McDarby, design director at Gradon Architecture, said:

“Residents expressed to us how important open spaces are to them, and we think our plan offers lots of open space and quality green landscaping, and an overall design that all take into account the unique community feel of the town.

“The exhibition also highlighted to us how affordable housing, education and health provision are important to local residents and the future of the town. We have put in place a sensitively designed blueprint to deliver quality facilities, one which offers a better alternative to a standard housing development, and with longer term benefits for villagers.”

The plans for land off Beacon Lane include 218 homes made-up of executive, family and affordable properties within a quality and generous landscaped setting – alongside a bespoke 60 bed retirement complex.

A further 243 homes, including 60 retirement apartments, would also be delivered off Salters Lane. The sale of these homes would help to fund further community facilities for the benefit of the whole town, including new education, health and training facilities, such as a GP or dentist surgery. And a contemporary new commercial facility accessed from Salters Lane would also provide a unique business hub for nurturing local entrepreneurial talent and delivering specialist skills training.

One resident who attended the consultation event at Sedgefield Racecourse, said:

“I’m in favour of the plans and future development of Sedgefield. I think this is a positive step in creating much needed additional homes in the area, catering for the needs of all from affordable homes to executive homes.

“It is also good to see that with the creation of additional housing there will be much needed new education and health care facilities available for the new and existing community.”

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