New retail park could see Lidl, KFC, Starbucks and Home Bargains opened and 200 jobs created

How the site would look.
How the site would look.

Up to 200 new jobs could be created on a former college campus site under plans for a new retail park.

The retail park could be created on the old site of the East Durham College buildings, off Essington Way and Burnhope Way, Peterlee, which were demolished earlier this year.

Now Quora Developments, in conjunction with Cerda Planning, aim to build five units on the site with four tenants already lined up.

If approved, the area could see new Lidl and Home Bargains stores, a KFC restaurant and drive-thru and a Starbucks coffee shop.

When all five units are in use, developers estimate up to 200 jobs could be created.

Tesco originally bought the land when it planned to build one of its Extra stores on the plot, with proposals approved in 2011.

The plans for the site, which had stood empty since the college moved to a new campus on Willerby Grove in 2009, had been expected to create 400 new jobs.

But the Peterlee scheme was one of 40 dropped by Tesco, before the derelict site became a target for anti-social behaviour.

New plans will see customers access the site from Essington Way alongside improvement works to existing subways under Burnhope Way and Essington Way.

Applicants have said the proposals would also increase the range of stores of Peterlee, maintain the presence of a Lidl store in the area and boost car parking and jobs.

Under the plans, the new Lidl store will replace the existing shop in Essington Way.

Quora director Jason Davis added: “At Quora we have redeveloped numerous brownfield sites to deliver high quality retail and leisure schemes across the country.

“We’re excited at the opportunity to work with Durham council and the local community to deliver major investment for the people of Peterlee on a site that has sat waiting for redevelopment for a long time.

“The proposal will provide huge benefits to the local community including improvements to the public realm, enhanced car parking for the town centre, increased retail offer in the town centre and a huge amount of new jobs for local people.”

The development includes 227 customer parking bays, 15 disabled bays, eight parent and child bays and four electric car charging bays.

Car parking times are not expected to change on site with an additional 10 staff parking bays and three waiting bays.

Lidl UK’s regional head of property, David Murphy, commented: “We’re delighted to be relocating our store in Peterlee, which marks another milestone in our ambitious store expansion and regeneration programme.

“We’ve seen incredible demand for Lidl stores across the country and look forward to opening our doors in the not too distant future.”

Easington MP, Grahame Morris, has also welcomed the scheme.

“I’m delighted at the prospect of a new retail offering in Peterlee, utilising a site that had been of great concern to residents,” he said.

“This proposal is an opportunity to revitalise the town centre, delivering new jobs and amenities, which I hope will act as a catalysis for wider improvements in Peterlee.

“The public now have the chance to share their views of the development on the Peterlee Retail Park website and I hope such a positive proposal for the area will enjoy widespread public support.” 

Developers will  launch a public consultation between September 7 – September 21 before the plans are submitted to Durham County Council.

To give your views on the development, take part in a survey at www.peterleeretailpark.co.uk