Thursday, 11 December 2008

250 new homes on Corus site

Sandwiched between the Darlington-Bishop Auckland railway line and Whessoe Road, and falling into North Road and Harrowgate Hill wards, is the old Corus (British Steel) site. Corus still operate from one building there, but most of the site has already been cleared. It remains an eyesore, with an ugly high wall running for much of its length.

Today, St Modwen Properties PLC, "the UK's leading regeneration specialist", held a public exhibition in the Bridge Centre, showcasing their proposals for regenerating this land. Their plan is for 250 new family homes to be built there. There would be small play areas for younger children, pedestrian and cycle paths and links to North Park.

With Faverdale on the other side of the railway, the developers also envisage a link to the industrial park under the railway line.

The way St Modwen work is to apply for planning permission, carry out the basic structural work, and then sell off the land in parcels to housebuilders. They envisage homes on the site within two years.

Local schools, particularly Harrowgate Hill Primary School, would clearly come under considerable pressure from this development. There would also be traffic congestion implications for the already busy Whessoe Road in the approach to "the cut" under the railway line.

There is, however, a need for affordable family housing in the town, which this development will help to meet.


miketually said...

Is that Honeypot Lane in the middle of the site? If so, I wonder if a tucan crossing of Whessoe road could be included in the work? At the moment, there is apparently not enough space to put in a crossing, yet the road is quite busy and a lot of kids use it for getting to and from school.

Mike Barker said...

Yes, that is Honeypot Lane.

The developer stated that some form of crossing would be installed to link the site directly into North Park. I don't suppose they know there "isn't enough space", though presumably once the site is opened out, this problem can be overcome.

A lot of kids already have to cross the road to get to school. With 250 family homes being built, there will be a clear need for an appropriate crossing there. Whessoe Road dips and turns at this point and is quite dangerous, I think, particularly with cars also joining from Longfield Road.

Anonymous said...

What is going to happen to the Traveller site? Will the estate be built around it or will they be moved?
Speaks volumes that the land isn't going to be used for industry.

Aeres said...

Apologies for commenting on an old blog post but I was explaining this to my parents the other day when they pointed out that I'd missed the elephant in the room. Isn't there a still active railway line that runs parallel to Whessoe Road? I may be looking in the wrong place but I can't seem to see it at all?

Mike Barker said...

Aeres: Mark Burton has an aerial photograph of the site on his Harrowgate Hill website here:
This photo shows clearly how squashed in the site is between the Darlington to Bishop Auckland railway line and Whessoe Road.

henrykenyon said...

How does this affect the B&Q bypass? Will the B&Q bypass be shelved now?

Mike Barker said...

Henry, no it doesn't affect the new by-pass because the by-pass doesn't get that far. The by-pass will go behind B&Q and join Whessoe Road before the Meynell Road mini-roundabout heading towards Whessoe.

It joins Whessoe Rd at a new mini-roundabout, 20 metres before the turn into Morrison's estate.

Anonymous said...

Considering I work at the Corus site here in Darlington how do they propose to build where I work without me losing my job???? I have worked here for 34 years so I find these proposals very worrying!!!!!

Mike Barker said...

According to the developers, the new housing will be on land which is currently derelict and unused, Existing Corus buildings on the site which are still in use will remain: they are shown in grey in the top plan in my original post.
If "anonymous" would like to email me:
I'll send you some more detail about the scheme.