BUSINESS leaders, residents and a school have backed plans for a new 190-home housing estate.

Joyce Roberts, chair of Chester-le-Street and District Business Association, has written to Durham County Council in support of plans for a new housing development at Pelton Lane.

Banks Property wants to build family homes on a 7.4-hectare site, which has already won support from Newfield and Pelton Lane Ends Residents’ Association and Roseberry Nursery and Primary School.

Ms Roberts said that local independent businesses needed the support of local customers.

She added: “The Pelton Lane new build would hopefully help to encourage this and keep these businesses open.

“The area also has a high percentage of older residents, and an increase in the number of properties that would be suitable for them would clearly be beneficial”.

“There should always be places for the young children of our villages to access a local school, and the fact that one is so near to the development is an asset that means children could walk in in the morning, rather than relying on being driven in, which brings more traffic at school time.”

More than 60 people attended drop-in sessions held in December and January, where Banks said feedback was overwhelmingly favourable.

Lewis Stokes said: “We design all our developments to bring a range of different benefits to the communities in which we work, and the recognition that Mrs Roberts’ letter of support provides for the ways in which the Pelton Lane scheme would enhance her local area is obviously very welcome.

“Our Pelton Lane development would sit in a wholly suitable location for this type of scheme, and we believe there would be significant demand for the homes that would be built there.

“We believe there is a strong case for approval for the Pelton Lane scheme and are looking forward to making it to Durham County Council’s planning committee.”