WANTED: Big ideas for Durham

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BIG ideas are needed for a major development in Durham City.

Durham County Council is hoping private developers will come forward with plans for North Road.

The council sees the regeneration of the city at the core of its plans to regenerate the rest of the county.

Planners are looking for sustainable mixed development, not just more blocks of flats.

A preferred developer has been appointed for the former ice rink at Freeman’s Place, which is set to be turned into a mixture of office, retail and public space.

In North Road, the council is looking for plans which will:

l Enhance the retail offer;

l Improve the pedestrian and retail environment;

l Improve access and connections for pedestrians by breaking down barriers between retail and transport zones;

l Create more attractive transport facilities, including a new bus station and road improvements;

l Fit in with the character of Durham City and the historic setting of castle and cathedral World Heritage Site.

The council says the response from developers is crucial in assessing the scale of development which may be possible in North Road.

Sarah Robson, the council’s head of economic development and housing, said: “North Road is a vitally-important area of the city.

“It has a major role to play in Durham’s vibrancy, vitality and economic performance.

“This latest exercise is another step towards us developing a blueprint for development which will help us achieve our ambitions.”

Coun Neil foster, cabinet member for regeneration, is hoping for a wide and varied response from developers.

He said: “Getting the private sector on board and getting their comments and ideas is an important step in our regeneration plans.

“We look forward to hearing what potential developers have to say.”

Anyone wanting more information about the development brief should contact Gareth Neill on 03000 262047 or email:gareth.neill@durham.gov.uk.

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