New plans for Durham's former Kerry food factory could create up to 100 jobs

New plans for a former Durham food factory site which could create almost 100 new jobs have been unveiled.

Friday, 23rd March 2018, 5:00 am
Daniel Gregg

Now members of the public are being offered the chance to have their say.

Angel Developments is asking the public to register their views on its proposals for the former Kerry Foods site, which was previously known as the Dragonville Industrial Estate, and is now known as St Andrew’s Park.

Artist's impression of plans for former Dragonville Industrial Estate

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National planning and development consultancy Lichfields is taking forward the plans on its behalf, and has arranged a public consultation event for next week.

The proposals include provisions for 5,135sq ms, of non-food shop outlets earmarked for bulky goods operators such as DIY, furniture/furnishings, carpets and flooring.

They also include plans for a restaurant of around 536sq ms, over two floors, with around 220 parking spaces, including 11 for the disabled.

The proposals include accesses from both McIntyre Way and Dragon Lane, and pedestrian linkages to both Dragon Lane/Sherburn Road District Centre and the nearby Durham City Retail Park

Artist's impression of plans for former Dragonville Industrial Estate

The public exhibition is being held on Wednesday, March 28, at Belmont Community Centre, Gilesgate Moor, between 3pm and 7pm.

Daniel Gregg, Senior Planner at Lichfields, said: “Whilst Durham is currently served by a range of non-food shops, the range of operators selling bulky goods is relatively limited.

“These types of retail units cannot realistically be accommodated in Durham City centre, due to existing physical and heritage constraints, and are ideal for a location such as this.

“The proposals would complete the redevelopment of this largely vacant site and generate spin-off trade for existing retail facilities nearby.”

Lichfields say the development would generate approximately 95 full time jobs and help stimulate interest in the trade counter units already constructed on the site.

The Kerry Foods factory closed in July 2012 with the loss of about 350 jobs.

The firm blaming an urgent need to reduce costs for a move union chiefs described as ‘absolutely disastrous’.

The business planned to transfer production from Durham to other sites in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The factory, which processed sliced meats for a range of brands, has been demolished.