Whinfield Residents Association

(Incorporating The Friends Of Beech Wood)

D'TON LOCAL PLAN

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Darlington Borough Council has published its draft LOCAL PLAN which is intended to dictate Economic and Planning Policy throughout the Borough until at least 2036. Visit https://microsites.darlington.gov.uk/local-plan/ for details of what stage the process has reached. Of great concern to WRA is the proposal to encourage a huge housing development in the countryside north of Darlington, coloured yellow on the greatly simplified map opposite.

(Click the map to see a downloadable pdf version.)

As well as this Plan potentially destroying a vast greenfield site currently used for farming, and extensively by residents for recreation, it is well known that the local infrastructure and facilities in Whinfield are totally inadequate to support development on such a scale. Coupled with a related proposal by DBC for a Northern Bypass which seems to be principally designed to facilitate the building of houses in this area (click the link opposite for more information), WRA intends to be fully involved in any consultation process and to resist any undesirable plans in an attempt to help safeguard the environment in and around the Ward.

One particular proposal is for Theakstons to build what they originally termed "Skerningham Garden Village", now called in the Plan the "Skerningham Strategic Allocation", of 4000+ homes in this red area:

(Click the image to see a downloadable pdf version)

D'ton Northern Bypass

Click for more

WRA POLICY IS TO OPPOSE THE SKERNINGHAM DEVELOPMENT

At the General Meeting of 16th May 2018 members of WRA voted overwhelmingly to pass the following motion:

"Whinfield Residents Association believes that the proposed Skerningham Garden Village and other related housing developments should not be included in the new Darlington Local Plan, and the Association will submit objections to any proposals for developments which would be detrimental to the Ward. "


This policy has been used to guide WRA in its response to the Darlington Local Plan. A Draft of the Plan was published by Darlington Borough Council, and a non-statutory consultation on it has completed, when the public were able to give their views for or against any aspects of it.


The WRA Committee submitted a detailed set of comments The focus of the response was on the proposed policies relating to "HOUSING", in particular raising objections on many grounds to the idea of having a SKERNINGHAM STRATEGIC ALLOCATION, and those "ENVIRONMENT" policies which have a bearing on this aspect of the Draft Plan. The next stage is probably publication of a revised Plan for statutory consultation.

To view or download the WRA response in full, click HERE.

It is known that many individual residents with their own concerns have also submitted their views to DBC.

MUSCAR HOUSE FARM is an unspoiled greenfield area situated between the houses of Barmpton Lane and the River Skerne, valued for its amenity and the access to the countryside on this side of the Town. In response to the government's push for more housing, Darlington Borough Council had controversially included it as a zone for development in its "Making and Growing Places" plan. This attracted numerous objections from residents and has been dropped, but it is feared that the idea is being resurrected in the Draft Local Plan, so the fight to save it is likely to continue.

To see a short YouTube video featuring Muscar House Farm, click HERE.

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To listen to a radio interview about the Skerningham Development ("garden village") aired on 6/12/18 and featuring WRA Chair David Milner, Secretary Alan Hutchinson, and Councillor Chris McEwan of Darlington Borough Council, click the BBC Radio Tees logo opposite.


Note that the original interview was much longer but it was heavily edited, and issues raised by WRA about such things as the loss of countryside and woodland, environmental problems, the golf course move and flawed housing figures etc. were all left out of the final version, beyond our control.


Enable your sound. The audio is in mp3 format and should play on your device in your default Media Player. It is 6 min 26s long.