Developer bids to start Belmont development

GV of former Phillips Components Factory on the Belmont Industrial Estate, Durham.
GV of former Phillips Components Factory on the Belmont Industrial Estate, Durham.
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A DEVELOPER hopes to press on with stalled plans to create offices if officials free it from a host of rules on the scheme.

Mandale Investments was first given permission to build on the former LG Phllips site at Belmont Industrial Estate in Durham in 2008, followed by an extension to the time limit on the proposals two years ago.

Now the firm has asked for more flexibility over conditions so it can get to work on the first section of the plot, with smaller phases to be built than first planned to reduce costs and make it viable.

It hopes Durham County Council will allow it to vary agreements on public artwork, which it now wants to put in place during the third phase, and delay confirmation over the details of ventilation and flues.

It also wants to begin some construction without improvements to junction 62 of the A1(M), agree a travel plan and confirm upgrades of bus stop shelters and shuttle services once it reaches its third stage.

The company has also asked for a condition that an electric vehicle charging point, expected to be in place before the first building is occupied, is installed once a “reasonable number of people” are based there. A total of 720 parking spaces are included in the approved plans.

England and Lyle, which is representing Mandale, said: “This development has stalled for a number of years now, given the onerous nature of the required off-site highway works and the fragile nature of the economy and demand for new office units.

“However, the applicant is looking to implement the proposals and start on site, but to do this the upfront costs associated with the sustainable transport measures needs to be minimised to ensure the early phases of the development can be delivered and revenue generated from the site.”

Electronics firm Phillips closed in 2005, leading to the loss of 761 jobs.