CASH from a £24million leisure development is set to be ploughed into neighbouring communities.
In return for building phase two of Dalton Park, in Murton, owner ING has signed a deal which will see £250,000 pledged for improvements in surrounding areas, including shopping, new homes and a park.
Durham County Council will use the funds to turn sections of its Seaham and Murton masterplan, approved by its cabinet last week, into a reality.
A contribution of £83,000 will go to the shopping area of Wood’s Terrace in Murton, creating better links between the precinct, new houses nearby and the yet-to-be-built Prestige Business Park, which will go to the south of Dalton Park.
The remaining £167,000 would cover the cost of developing the Blandford Place and Railway Streets area of Seaham.
Stephen Reed, the council’s planning development manager, said the authority believes there is a development opportunity for homes on the car park it owns in Blandford Place, along with the Marlborough Surgery site once the GP practice moves into the new health centre nearby.
It also wants to amend the town centre boundary to “refocus” retail in Church Street, “enhancing the vitality and vibrancy of the area as a retail destination”.
Mr Reed added that short-term environmental enhancements could be made to improve the links between homes, the railway station and North Dock, with a park created along the route of the former train line to the harbour.
The authority also wants to take action on sites which are under-used, in poor condition and where they could be bought to offer long-term benefits to the town.
A local labour agreement is also included, which will target a recruitment and training programme. About £1.75million is to be spent on highways improvement works to the A19 as a result of the development.
Phase two of Dalton Park is expected to create 500 jobs and will see a supermarket, petrol station, five-screen cinema, hotel and restaurants, including a drive-thru.
The plan was approved last June, along with two separate supermarket plans for Peterlee.