THE owners of a shopping centre who want to open a new food store have lost out in their bid to block the extension of an out-of-town retail park which would also include a supermarket.
Salford Estates, which owns Castle Dene Shopping Centre, in Peterlee, has lost its appeal against planning permission being granted to a £24m development at Dalton Park, in Murton.
They say the decision “weakens the vitality and viability” Peterlee town centre.
It comes after Salford also lost out in its bid, in September, to stop Tesco opening a store on the site of the former East Durham College, on the corner of Burnhope Way and Essington Way, in Peterlee.
It came after Durham County Council granted permission to all three developments, which would bring a total of 1,600 jobs to the area.
But Salford Estates launched an appeal against the decision, stating the adverse impact they could have on Peterlee town centre if they went ahead.
A ruling was made on Friday that Salford’s appeal against the Dalton Park development should not be upheld, leaving the way free for owners ING’s plans, which include a supermarket, five-screen cinema, restaurants, hotel and petrol station.
Today, a Salford Estates spokesman said: “Clearly, we are disappointed that our appeal against the out-of-town foodstore at Dalton Park has not been upheld, despite the overwhelming body of evidence, which clearly highlighted the adverse impact this proposal will have on nearby town centres, most notably Peterlee.
“Our position remains unchanged and is one supported by the council’s own planning officers and their expert advisors.
“A food superstore is wholly contrary to planning policy and will weaken the vitality and viability of Peterlee town centre, which is where development should be focussed and where maximum regeneration benefits would be achieved.
“We would also add that the decision to grant permission for the stores at Dalton Park and the former college site is, quite simply, contrary to common sense.”
Durham County Council planning officers had recommended in June 2011 that the Dalton Park plans be refused, over concerns that it would have a detrimental impact on Peterlee and Seaham town centre.
But despite this, councillors voted to give the plans the go-ahead.
ING did not wish to comment at this stage.