Thousands of homes and jobs planned for County Durham

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THIRTY thousand new jobs and 30,000 new houses could be coming to County Durham by 2030.

The aims are set out in the latest draft of the County Durham Plan which was put before a meeting of Durham County Council’s cabinet.

More than 4,300 new businesses are envisaged in the plan, which should see adult employment rise from 66 per cent to 73 per cent.

Significant business development will take place in Hawthorn, near Seaham, and at Peterlee, which will also see new homes.

Executive housing will be built on the Lambton Estate, and about three per cent of the green belt to the north of Durham City will be built on as Aykley Heads and the surrounding area becomes a new centre for living and working.

Planners say the green belt land allocated for development is the least valuable from an ecological and amenity point of view, but very valuable to developers.

The council will charge developers a community infrastructure levy which will help pay for relief roads to the north and west of Durham City, and a new railway station at Horden.

Coun Neil Foster, cabinet member for regeneration, told the meeting at Chester-le-Street civic centre: “If you keep doing what you are doing, you keep on getting what you get.

“This is an innovative and ambitious plan which is designed to encourage sustainable economic growth for the benefit all residents.

“We need to encourage our young people to stay in Durham, and to do that you need proper housing, healthcare and jobs.

“The report before today’s meeting is just the invitation to the dance. The real dance starts in September when the consultation process moves to the next stage.

“I hope as many people as possible will take part.”

The council plans a series of staffed events and displays across the county from September 8.

Letters will be sent to everyone living near one of the proposed major developments.

A final draft of the plan will be published in September next year, before formal adoption by the council in 2014.

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