Question 13 Coxhoe Parish Council formally objects to option c (Sustainable Communities with Central Durham Villages). Our preference would ideally be option d (wider dispersal) or Option b (Sustainable Communities).
Our principle reason for this is the feedback we have had from the responses received from the Neighbourhood Plan public meetings we have had have endorsed the view that Coxhoe cannot sustain much more development than the 500 houses approved in the last year without losing our village identity, loss of green space around our village and Coxhoe being merged with Parkhill losing our separate identities and potentially leading to a continuous urban sprawl towards Bowburn, Shincliffe, Elvet and Durham City itself.
Parkhill has been linked with Coxhoe for consideration of development proposals and there is a strong risk that the 190 houses approved recently will expand to 600-800, in addition to the 150 recently approved as part of Integra 61.
Coxhoe Parish Council considers that Parkhill and Coxhoe are completely separate settlements. It does not feel that they are one settlement. This distinction ought to be acknowledged and protected through the County Plan to avoid further unnecessary, unacceptable and detrimental incursions into open countryside and to avoid the unacceptable coalescence of the two settlements such as the unfortunate approval of nearly 200 dwellings at St Mary’s Terrace last year. Coxhoe’s recent housing development has eaten considerably into our green space and green belt. The protection of our current green space needs to be written into the County Durham plan for our village.
Coxhoe, Parkhill and Bowburn do not have the infrastructure to sustain any further development: Coxhoe Surgery is beyond capacity and at risk of curtailing it’s lists, Bowburn Surgery is looking for larger premises.
Coxhoe School is full and planned expansion is only to cope with existing developments. Bowburn Schools are also at capacity. If all mooted developments transpire there will be a deficit of 180-300 primary places and therefore an additional primary school would be required. Additionally children from Coxhoe and Bowburn travel to 8 secondary schools with 90% paying £40 a month for travel and therefore if any further development is considered for this area it should also include provision of a new secondary school. Potential sites have been identified through the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.
Coxhoe Parish Council would remind the County Council that over 500 houses have recently been approved without satisfactory social infrastructure provision. Within reason this ought to be Coxhoe’s contribution to housing need in the plan period with very few additional sites being allocated. It is felt that a statement to this effect ought to be built into the County Plan document? It is not felt that is any justifiable need for any significant additional housing without adequate social infrastructure including a new school and improved health facilities. Environmental, health and leisure projects have been developed over recent years to provide sustainable future and are well used by the local and wider community e.g. Limestone Links Cycle and walkways, the County Durham Plan should include provision for financial contributions to such community schemes.
Question 15 Call for Sites – Parish Plans 1 and 2 identified from public views that there was the scope for some development at Quarrington Hill, and indeed a recent small development has proved exceptionally popular. There appears to be a large private rented population in Quarrington Hill, and that additional houses for sale may help balance the community and make shops trading in the village more sustainable, and even introduce the scope for a doctors’ surgery.
Question 22 Older residents are being forced to leave Coxhoe due to unavailability of 2 bedroom bungalows. These were identified in Parish Plan 1 and 2 as a priority by residents. As part of Neighbourhood Plan public meetings sites have been identified for building bungalows for rent.
Question 27 and 28 Greenbelt provision to protect village identities and settlement boundaries should be maintained as in the former City of Durham Plan.
A new secondary school / education village is needed for Cohoe and Bowburn and surrounding villages. The strategic locations of secondary schools fits with how these villages were envisaged would decline in the 1980s and not for how they have actually developed. With development in and around Durham, Ferryhill and Chilton, places in these schools will become limited to distant communities and children from our communities will be marginalised and separated having an ongoing negative effect on community spirit and cohesion. It will be inappropriate to plush money into extending these schools, when provision of a new school in
our areas would lead to reduced demand and increased availability of places from more local children from new developments in closer proximity.