Legal challenge over development housing Lidl, KFC, Starbucks and Home Bargains in Peterlee
Plans for a new development housing a Lidl, KFC, Starbucks and Home Bargains could be threatened by legal action from a rival shopping centre.
According to Durham County Council, Praxis, which owns the Castle Dene Shopping Centre, has already had one attempt to overturn approval for the £16million scheme rejected.
But despite this it is pushing ahead with an appeal as it attempts to block the proposals to redevelop the site of the former East Durham and Houghall College, in Burnhope Way.
Up to 120 jobs are expected to be created on the 2.56-hectare site as a result of the project by developers Quora (Peterlee) Ltd, which will also give Home Bargains and Lidl new bases in the town after they decided not to renew leases on their current premises.
Councillor Carl Marshall, county council cabinet member for economic development said: “It is incredibly disappointing that something which would attract additional investment into the town is being challenged.
“The scheme would give a much-needed boost to Peterlee town centre at a time when town centres are struggling.
“New jobs and additional investment are now threatened as a result, along with the future of existing retailers in the town.
Many areas of the county are crying out for investment and would love such a scheme, it’s almost like they don’t want the town to develop.”
Plans for the former college site were approved by county councillors in March, despite warnings from representatives of Castle Dene Shopping Centre it would have a ‘devastating impact’ on the town centre.
Concerns were also raised by Asda and Wilko, which both have stores in the town centre, while letters of objection to the county council cautioned against the prospect of increased congestion, anti-social behaviour and litter.
But there was also support for the scheme, which was not opposed by Peterlee Town Council, and was approved by members of the County Planning Committee, with construction expected to start next year (2020).
Castle Dene Shopping Centre has been contacted for comment.