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Plans for Student Housing on Durham's Green Belt

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

A decision on plans to build a student accommodation block on green belt land near Durham City is expected this week.

The proposal was submitted by East Durham College and consists of a new 198-bed student housing block on its Houghall Campus, which is based on the outskirts of Durham.

Within the application there are also plans to refurbish Weardale House, which is one if its existing student accommodation buildings and houses a further 24 beds.

East Durham College has submitted the plans to ensure its facilities are modernised, which it is hoped will ensure the long-term future of the college.

Under the development the new block would have 198 rooms spread over three storeys, with the majority of the rooms being occupied by Durham University Students.

There have been some concerns raised over the scheme, most notably those of the City of Durham Trust and Campaign to Protect Rural England. Both organisations said that the proposed development was not appropriate for the green belt. However, Durham University has backed the application, suggesting that it would help to meet the need for purpose built student accommodation in the city.

Although Durham County Planners agreed with both the City of Durham Trust and Campaign to Protect Rural England, they recommended the plans be approved due to what they said were special circumstances.