Work on eyesore

The derelict Peterlee College.
The derelict Peterlee College.

A RAFT of maintenance improvements have been promised at the former Peterlee college earmarked for a new supermarket.

The former East Durham College site, on the corner of Burnhope Way, has been branded an “eyesore”, with no sign of progress since Durham County Council gave the go-ahead for it to be turned into a Tesco store in 2011.

The Mail reported last year that the supermarket chain was downsizing its plans and looking at slashing the size of its proposed 80,000sq ft store “in light of changing shopping habits”.

Workers have been seen on the site in the past few days.

Last year, town resident Brain Bartell expressed concerns about the lack of progress on the “eyesore” site, which has become a target for arsonists.

In the past week, firefighters have been called to the site twice, on Sunday, September 28 and on Saturday, September 27, to two separate fires in the roof of the college.

Tesco say the maintenance package includes cutting grass to ground level, reshaping all shrubs and clearing ash and weeds, pruning shrubs, comprehensive litter picks, cleaning the car park and removal of all green waste and litter.

Tesco spokesman Mark Thomas said: “We’re grateful to have the support of many in the community for our store in Peterlee.

“In light of changing customer shopping habits, with more people shopping online and in convenience stores, we have paused our development plans in Peterlee while we consider future options, including a smaller store.

“We know that this will be disappointing for residents and we do not take such a decision lightly.

“We’ll be sure to keep the community updated on any further plans.

“In the meantime, we’ve put in place a more comprehensive maintenance plan for the site.”