Scheme permitted at asbestos works

The secretary of state has accepted an inspector's recommendation to grant outline permission for a business and housing development at a former asbestos works in County Durham after finding that it would contribute to the supply of employment land.

The development plan designated the land as a prestige employment site for business and general industrial use. The secretary of state found that the site would not come forward in the short to medium term for employment due to decontamination costs. In her view, reserving the whole site as a prestige industrial estate would effectively prevent its use for any purpose.

On that basis, she accorded little weight to the proposal's conflict with the development plan. She remarked that the development would enable the decontamination of a long-derelict site, contribute to the supply of employment land, provide much-needed affordable housing, enhance the area's character and appearance and widen housing choice in a sustainable location for jobs and homes. It would not lead to an unacceptable over-supply of housing land, she ruled.

DCS Number 100-051-193

Inspector Edward Simpson; Inquiry.

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