New youth centre linked to store plans

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YOUNG people could benefit from a new youth centre if planners give the go-ahead to plans for a new 80,000 sq ft food store.

Salford Estates, the owners of Castle Dene Shopping Centre, in Peterlee, have submitted plans for the youth centre as part of a multi-million-pound development in the centre of the town.

Under the proposals, the existing 40-year-old youth facility, in Hailsham Place, would be replaced by a state-of-the-art centre.

A new health centre would also be built, as well as supermarket parking.

But in order for them to go ahead, planning permission must be granted to the proposed food store, as the store is needed to fund the youth centre.

Salford Estates spokesman Gareth Edmunds said: “The new youth centre is part of the exciting community hub that our town centre scheme would deliver.

“The Castle Dene scheme will draw trade into the town as opposed to out of it.”

The new youth centre would be located to the south of the shopping centre, opposite Peterlee Leisure Centre.

It would include flexible, modern and fit-for-purpose space, which developers say is key to engaging young people in east Durham.

The new 4,300 sq ft youth facility would be home to activities ranging from music and dance to fitness and a drop-in centre.

Paul Hebron, from the youth centre, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the town and a real win-win.

“While the youth centre is a tremendous asset for our young people, the focus on the town centre is also a real boost for Peterlee.

“We desperately want to see this scheme go ahead to make it happen.”

A public exhibition of the proposals held in August showed strong support for the plans, which are due to be determined by Durham County Council in May.

Salford Estates is one of three companies competing for permission from the council to build a new supermarket in Peterlee.

The others are North Blunts, who want to build a Morrisons supermarket on the site of the former North Blunts Primary School, in Burnhope Way.

The scheme also involves plans for housing and new sports facilities.

Tesco also wants to build a new store on the site of the former East Durham College, also in Burnhope Way.