Proposals for a new village which could become home to 1,500 new houses, businesses and a health centre have been submitted to planners.
North East firm Tolent has drafted an application for the South Seaham Garden Village, which would be built of the A182 at Dawdon, and hope a decision could be made by the end of the year.
The plot was previously approved as the site of a multi-million pound Centre for Creative Excellence film studio, which failed to materialise.
The village plans set out how half of the homes would be classed as affordable and include “entry level” properties through the Home Group, with properties designed with older people in mind to include houses which offer independent living, assisted living and dependent care facilities.
The plans also feature shops, land for a new primary school, an “innovation hub” for research and office space and a health and well-being centre.
It will also have a new spine road through the village, which will see regular bus services put on to offer direct links to Seaham, Dalton Park and the wider area.
We now look forward to discussing the details of the proposed garden village with the council.John Wood
The planing statement sets out how if approved, the development would be constructed over 12 years and create 500 jobs through a partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board and the National Skills Academy for Construction, with 300 permanent jobs in the village, as well as a further 160 roles off-site through businesses, employees and new residents.
It says the site’s owners have been looking at alternative uses for the site since 2012 and identified a need for more housing, particularly affordable homes and accommodation for older people.
It says: “The garden village proposal therefore seeks to meet these identified needs by creating a sustainable settlement with new homes, new job opportunities and new facilities for the community that will develop in the garden village and for the wider East Durham area.”
Tolent chairman John Wood said: “We were really encouraged by the positive feedback from the public consultation in February and have now formally submitted an outline planning application to the County Council, which can be viewed on the council’s website.
“We now look forward to discussing the details of the proposed garden village with the council.
“We expect a decision to be made on our planning application later in the year so that we can start to deliver as soon as possible much needed affordable homes for all ages, jobs, new community facilities and new green space for local people in a garden village that will be unique not only in Durham but in the UK in the way it is planned and cares for its population.”
The full application can be viewed via https://goo.gl/JVnLRn.