Town could miss out on 350 new jobs

SUPERMARKET bosses say communities would lose out if a second plan is turned down.

Bosses at Morrisons say they are disappointed that Durham County Council officers have recommended that plans for a store at a proposed multi-million pound regeneration scheme be rejected.

If the planning application is not successful, Peterlee will lose out on having a new store that could create up to 350 new jobs.

They say the scheme could also see the relocation and improvement of rugby pitches at Helford Road, improved football facilities in Eden Lane and 51 new and affordable homes at the former ITEC site in Burnhope Way.

Development executive Andrew Cooper, for Morrisons, said: “Morrisons is committed to Peterlee and in delivering this regeneration development scheme to the North Blunts site. The local support for the scheme has been unbelievable and we are very disappointed that it’s not being supported by the officers.

“ It is a scheme which is immediately deliverable and will bring real benefits to Peterlee.

“Not only will we be creating career opportunities and new housing, we aim to provide regeneration through sport by improving much-needed sports pitches in this area.

“This multi-million pound package of benefits is exclusive to the Morrisons plans and will not go ahead if we are unsuccessful, something we feel will be to the detriment of Peterlee.

“However, it is not the planning officers that make the final decision, it is down to the members of Durham County Council’s Planning Committee and we would appeal to them to look at the substantial benefits of our scheme, particularly when compared with the other schemes being considered.”

They say there has been a lot of support for the Morrisons scheme, particularly amongst local football and rugby clubs needing sports investment.

Rob Laverick, treasurer of Peterlee Pumas rugby club, said: “We have a desperate need for extra training grounds for our youth teams so the sooner it is built the sooner they can train on them.

“ Bringing new pitches and sports facilities into the area could really change young lives for the better and we need as much local support for this scheme as we possibly can.”

Les Measor, chairman of Peterlee Town FC, added: “The new and improved sports pitches is exclusive to this scheme, so we appeal to our councillors to pledge their support and get it through planning.”