Get to see golf club site plans

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AMBITIOUS plans to build housing and student accommodation on a golf course site will go on display next week.

The Banks Group is holding a public exhibition of its proposed scheme for Mount Oswald Golf Club, in Durham City, between 3pm and 7pm on Monday, at the Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan’s College, on Windmill Hill.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Meadowfield-based Banks Group, said: “Ensuring everyone has the chance to give us their opinions about our plans as they evolve is a central part of Banks’ ‘development with care’ approach, and it is especially crucial for a site as important as Mount Oswald.

“This proposal represents a very significant investment in the regional economy at a time when few other companies are making this level of commitment, and would bring with it a host of employment and community benefits.”

The proposals focus primarily on executive housing but also include student accommodation, next to Van Mildert College and which the developers say will free up family homes in the city centre that are occupied by students.

“Student accommodation is also clearly a very pressing issue for people in the city, both for those who are studying here and those that live here full-time, and the allowance we have made for this in our proposals could help to rebalance the make-up of city centre communities while providing students with purpose-built, high-quality accommodation,” said Mr Dowdall.

“We hope as many people as possible will come along and talk to us about their views of our ideas at the exhibition.”

Durham University vice-chancellor Professor Chris Higgins added: “We are committed to attracting a greater proportion of our student body to remain in university-owned college accommodation.

“We’re developing an accommodation strategy to ensure that we consider carefully our responsibilities to our students and to the wider community.

“This strategy will consider a number of development options including the Mount Oswald site.”

The new layout is designed to address residents’ concerns over traffic levels that followed Banks’ initial development plans, which were withdrawn in 2009.

Anyone who is unable to attend can contact the Banks community relations team on 78 6100 or e-mail mountoswald@banksgroup.co.uk

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