Plans for retail park with three new stores and hundreds of parking spaces given green light

The proposed site of the retail park. Picture: Google.
The proposed site of the retail park. Picture: Google.

Major plans for a new retail park have been given the green light by councillors.

Earlier this year, Angel Developments revealed plans to redevelop the former Kerry Foods site in the Dragonville area of Durham City, which closed in 2012.

Under outline proposals, the newly-named St Andrews Park site will be transformed into 5,398 sqm of retail space with three units.

The units – spread over retail space spread between Dragon Lane and McIntyre Way – are earmarked for ‘bulky goods’ retailers such as DIY, furniture and flooring alongside a 234-space car park.

When completed, the retail park could also share the site with a McDonald’s drive-thru which is subject to a seperate planning application.

On Tuesday, November 13, Durham County Council’s central and east planning committee backed the retail park plans.

It’s hoped the development will provide an economic boost to the area in terms of jobs and increased footfall.

The decision is also subject to a section 106 agreement being signed.

This will see the developer will pay £137,500 towards a retail park relief road- between Rennys Lane and the A181 via Damson Way – which aims to ease congestion around retail developments in the area.

However, Coun David Freeman, while supporting the application, raised concerns about the progress of the relief road and the uncertainty around businesses lined up for the park.

“We’re approving the developments before we’re building the much-needed road and that’s going to have a large shortfall,” he said.

“You might end up with some nice new units but no end users occupying them which has to be a concern.

“But I do support the application as it will improve the area.”

Details around appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the development will be approved by the council at a later date.

Another development is underway in the area to build a Lidl and The Range on a site opposite Tesco Extra.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service