A MAJOR new housing scheme has been earmarked for a former factory site which once employed 1,000 staff.
When the Ever Ready battery plant near Stanley, County Durham, closed 46 years ago part of the site was converted into industrial units, which are currently home to a dozen manufacturing and service businesses.
However, the £38m proposals by Durham-based Esh Developments will see the businesses relocated to new premises nearby and 365 homes will be built in their place, a plan which swill also create hundreds of jobs. The Newcastle office of national planning consultants Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP) submitted a planning application to Durham County Council on behalf of Esh last week.
Neil Morton, associate director at NLP, said: “The site is currently mostly vacant and viewed as a derelict, brownfield eyesore.
“The proposals will see the existing tenants relocated to Harelaw Industrial Estate for which a linked planning application will be submitted shortly.
“A major decontamination and site clean-up will then be completed and the site subsequently transformed to deliver 365 new family homes, including affordable homes. The development will create 315 construction jobs and deliver a £3.63m boost to the local economy.”
Mr Morton said the development would attract New Homes Bonus payments to Durham County Council of almost £2.6m and produce an increase in Council Tax revenues of more than £480,000 a year.
The proposals will also see the development of a retail facility to serve both the Tanfield Business Park and the new homes.
Further benefits will involve the creation of a village green, a new children’s play area, the reinstatement of footpaths and connections, and contributions towards improvements in the local area.
NLP has met with Tanfield School to discuss how the plans could help its facilities. NLP conducted a public consultation exercise on the proposals which received strong local support.
Almost all of those consulted wanted to the see the site cleaned up and only seven out of the 82 respondents disagreed with the redevelopment of the site for housing.
At a presentation by NLP to Stanley Town Council members said they would be in favour of the housing development provided the existing businesses were found new premises nearby.
Twelve businesses, currently employing 185 people on-site at Ever Ready, are expected to relocate to new premises, mostly at the Harelaw Industrial Estate nearby.