The Chronicle

Plan shows county is ‘open for business’


- By IAN JOHNSON Reporter

A BLUEPRINT which could lead to over 30,000 new jobs and 25,000 extra homes has been backed by Durham County Council.

Over the next 15 years, the County Durham Plan aims to make the regions a more “successful place to live, work, invest and visit”.

The strategy has now been officially adopted by the council, and backed by the business leaders who believe it can help attract investment to the area.

Coun Carl Marshall, the authority’s Cabinet member for economic regenerati­on, hailed it as a “momentous moment”.

“The plan will ensure the county is a successful place to live, work, invest and visit,” he said.

“It will facilitate more and better jobs – more than 32,000 of these, almost 25,000 high quality homes and supporting infrastruc­ture right across the county. This will both sustain and support the growth of our economy over the next 15 years in which, like councils across the country, we will be seeking to provide certainty to communitie­s and businesses following the coronaviru­s pandemic.

“By guiding future developmen­t, the County Durham Plan gives that certainty and its adoption is a truly momentous moment.”

Up to a quarter of the new homes will be classed as affordable housing.

And the plan is expected to facilitate thousands of new jobs at locations right across the county, including key economic sites at Seaham, Durham and Newton Aycliffe.

The plans lasts until 2035, and has been approved following several rounds of consultati­on. It was agreed by the authority’s Cabinet earlier this month before it was signed off on Wednesday by the full council.

James Hudson, chair of the Chartered Institute of Housing’s North East board, said it was “incredibly positive news” for the region, especially in the wake of the coronaviru­s pandemic.

“Having a concise plan-led approach which is consistent with national policy will aid the region in our recovery from Covid-19, with the local community, housing need and business economy at its core,” he said.

And James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, added: “County Durham offers so many opportunit­ies for businesses wishing to invest and expand. The new County Durham Plan will enable the county council to attract and support new employers with the confidence that housing and other necessary infrastruc­ture will be forthcomin­g to maximise the potential for all our communitie­s. Many will be encouraged by the range of possible developmen­ts demonstrat­ing that County Durham has the desire to see progress and really is open for business.”

 ??  ?? James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce
James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce
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