£200m plans to boost County Durham's economy are set to be submitted

A detailed proposal for the first phase of a £200m development intended to boost County Durham’s economy is to be submitted after the Banks Group reached a development agreement with a North East housebuilder

John Ruddick and Mike Roberts
John Ruddick and Mike Roberts

A detailed proposal for the first phase of a £200m development intended to boost County Durham’s economy is to be submitted after the Banks Group reached a development agreement with a North East housebuilder.

David Wilson Homes is looking to build 61 detached, four and five-bedroom homes on a 12-acre portion at the southern end of the Mount Oswald site.

The proposal would also include landscaping, as well as the opening of the first public open spaces and footpaths that were included in Banks’ Mount Oswald masterplan.

A public exhibition of David Wilson Homes’ plans will be held in the near future, with work expected to begin on site early in the new year, subject to the details of the scheme being finalised with Durham County Council. The first occupants could be in their new homes before the end of 2014.

In February this year, Banks secured planning permission from the County Council for its comprehensive proposals for the Mount Oswald site, which encompass an education quarter, new formal and informal public open spaces and a range of new community facilities, as well as executive housing.

The overall scheme, which was designed by Banks in support of the County Council’s vision of Durham City acting as a driver of economic growth in the county, will support more than 380 local jobs during and after its development, and will see more than £4.2m allocated by Banks to pay for substantial improvements for the local community.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, said: “Our vision for Mount Oswald is to create an outstanding, high quality, low density, sustainable new neighbourhood of families and students with a green infrastructure that provides new green links and wildlife habitats and is well connected to public transport.

“Reaching this first landmark is a very important point in realisation of this vision, and we believe the quality of the development plans that are being put forward more than matches the prestige of this important site.

“We have an established and very positive working relationship with David Wilson Homes, and will work with them to deliver the high quality development that we envisage for Mount Oswald, and that both the local community and Durham County Council are expecting to see realised.

“Work is ongoing around the development of the remainder of the Mount Oswald site, and we will make further announcements as and when further milestones are reached with a project which will both support hundreds of local jobs, and have an enduring positive impact on the city’s retail and housing sectors.”

Mike Roberts, managing director at David Wilson Homes North East, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Banks Group on this flagship scheme. We believe Mount Oswald will be one of the finest new homes developments in the North East, and expect there will be strong demand.

“We will be building 61 high-quality, family homes with bespoke external elevations in keeping with this prime location.

“There will be a public exhibition of our proposals and, subject to details being finalised with Durham County Council, we look forward to starting work on site early in 2014.”

The Banks Group was founded in 1976 and employs more than 420 people. David Wilson Homes is part of the Barratt Group.

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