The final phase of a business park in County Durham that could create 1,000 jobs has been given the green light by councillors.

Members of Durham County Council called the plan to build up to 53,780sqm of storage, distribution, and industrial floorspace at Jade Business Park in east Durham as a “no brainer.”

The council owns the Jade Business Park and had requested permission from its own planning committee for outline permission for the last phase of the expansion.

The site currently employs 160 people in seven units.

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Principal planning officer Graham Blakey told the committee: “The site is going forward for commercial development.

“The first phase of the development of the business park has been funded and completed by the council with third-party developers and managed by Business Durham. All seven units built are now fully left.

“The current demand for industrial units is outpacing the existing supply of industrial space from businesses both inside and outside the county.”

The council said in a statement: “These units currently employ 160 people with this expected to rise further to over 250 people in the next five years.

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“Buckinghamshire Properties Ltd is now in a position to complete the remaining phase two of development at Jade, working with Durham Council once outline planning permission is granted, but this time with mainly private and commercial funding.

“This last stage of construction will offer an additional 550,000 square feet of floor space and seven additional units when finished, which could support an additional 1,000 jobs.”

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, council members were shown a 3D rendering of the proposed design at the 14.45-hectare site of the reclaimed former Hawthorn Colliery on the outskirts of Murton.

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Public transport to the site is difficult to access, according to Mr. Blakey, but this is offset by the growth the plan will bring.

Blakey said: “Officers considered the economic benefits and job creation in reusing the site of this nature would be considered to outweigh the issues associated with the site.

“Nearby properties are considered unlikely to suffer from impacts upon their amenity from the proposed uses, but there are controls in place to minimise that even further.”

Councillor Carl Marshall said: “I think this has been a very slow burner over well over a decade and a lot of people involved in getting this site to what it is now. I’m really pleased that we’re in a position for the site to be taken further.

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“Since the council took the speculative decision to build those units, we’ve seen high demand… to bring much-needed jobs to the east of the county. It’s a strategic site, it’s allocated in the county plan. It’s an absolute no-brainer.

“I’m pleased that I’ve been able to play a small part when I was the cabinet lead for economic regeneration in getting this development going, and I know there’s a lot of people looking forward to seeing this scheme rolled out.”

The committee voted universally to support the outline plan. Detailed plans will be submitted at a later date.

Source: ITV

Image Credit: Frank Shaw Associates Architects

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