Councillors back Passport Office plans for Durham ice rink

Work on phase one of the Durham Riverside Renewal Project, pictured in December

Work on phase one of the Durham Riverside Renewal Project, pictured in December

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Durham)

COUNCILLORS have backed revised development plans which will allow hundreds of North-East jobs to be saved.

In December, a deal was announced which will see about 950 HM Passport Office workers based in Durham city centre move from Milburngate House across the River Wear to a new £27m development on the former Durham ice rink site.

Planning permission for the Durham Riverside Renewal Project was granted last March.

However, to accommodate the Passport Office in phase two of the project, the plans had to be altered.

Today (Tuesday, February 4), Durham County Council’s county planning committee unanimously approved those changes.

It means a proposed restaurant will instead be a customer service centre and there will be an extra 1,205sq m of office space.

That will be gained by filling voids and a “modest increase in footprint and storey massing”, although the building’s height and stepping remains unchanged.

Ian Beaumont, the project manager, said building on phase two would begin this summer and the development would be ready in three years.

Building is already well under way on phase one, a four-storey block which will be occupied by about 400 National Savings and Investments workers currently also based in Milburngate House.

Mr Beaumont said: “We are very proud of what we have already achieved to help shape the future of Durham City.

“The development at Freeman’s Reach is already proving to be a catalyst for the positive transformation of Durham’s riverside and the city’s economic and social landscape.”

Comments (7)

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5:23pm Tue 4 Feb 14

roaduser98 says...

Quote:
Mr Beaumont said: “We are very proud of what we have already achieved to help shape the future of Durham City.

“The development at Freeman’s Reach is already proving to be a catalyst for the positive transformation of Durham’s riverside and the city’s economic and social landscape.”
Along with the slalom poles in the market square and saddler street. The broken concrete seating )regular occurrence) damaged traffic poles. Sunken blocks on the roadway on silver street filled in with tarmac. Really looks similar to North Road which has now become a shambles of pawnbrokers and phone shops. Not a place the visitor should have to see when arriving in the city.
As for Freemans Reach, the area has become a partying crowd of youngsters on a drunken binge night out. Ordinary folk should avoid this area on an evening at all costs.
Did no one tell the developers on the old ice rink that this area is subject to severe flooding during the last three years! Oh well if its only the passport office and ns&i, who cares?? Just make sure they have sufficient boats to evacuate everyone.
Quote: Mr Beaumont said: “We are very proud of what we have already achieved to help shape the future of Durham City. “The development at Freeman’s Reach is already proving to be a catalyst for the positive transformation of Durham’s riverside and the city’s economic and social landscape.” Along with the slalom poles in the market square and saddler street. The broken concrete seating )regular occurrence) damaged traffic poles. Sunken blocks on the roadway on silver street filled in with tarmac. Really looks similar to North Road which has now become a shambles of pawnbrokers and phone shops. Not a place the visitor should have to see when arriving in the city. As for Freemans Reach, the area has become a partying crowd of youngsters on a drunken binge night out. Ordinary folk should avoid this area on an evening at all costs. Did no one tell the developers on the old ice rink that this area is subject to severe flooding during the last three years! Oh well if its only the passport office and ns&i, who cares?? Just make sure they have sufficient boats to evacuate everyone. roaduser98
  • Score: -1

9:32pm Tue 4 Feb 14

sineater says...

I have never seen that side of the river flooded,have you forgotten your meds today,yours is the most miserable comment I have ever read on here,even more so than any of V.O.R.'s and that's saying something !!!
I have never seen that side of the river flooded,have you forgotten your meds today,yours is the most miserable comment I have ever read on here,even more so than any of V.O.R.'s and that's saying something !!! sineater
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Wed 5 Feb 14

David Lacey says...

I attended the public consultation events for both the ice rink site and the vacated Milburngate building. I am content that all eventualities have been covered and that the new buildings will be a vast improvement on what went before.
I attended the public consultation events for both the ice rink site and the vacated Milburngate building. I am content that all eventualities have been covered and that the new buildings will be a vast improvement on what went before. David Lacey
  • Score: 0

6:40pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Arthurcwclarke says...

July 2009 the river flooded that side. I think you will find sineater so check your facts first. NS&I are leaving Durham the building will be used by Atos.
July 2009 the river flooded that side. I think you will find sineater so check your facts first. NS&I are leaving Durham the building will be used by Atos. Arthurcwclarke
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Thu 6 Feb 14

sineater says...

I stand c orrected on the flooding issue Arthur,but the developers must have taken such things into consideration. It floods more often on the other side,but that didn't put the owners of the hotel off did it ?
I stand c orrected on the flooding issue Arthur,but the developers must have taken such things into consideration. It floods more often on the other side,but that didn't put the owners of the hotel off did it ? sineater
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Thu 6 Feb 14

sineater says...

Sorry Arthur,i have looked at several sites ,b ut there is no mention of atos moving into offices at freemans reach, they do have offices in elvet house though .
Sorry Arthur,i have looked at several sites ,b ut there is no mention of atos moving into offices at freemans reach, they do have offices in elvet house though . sineater
  • Score: 0

11:29pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Arthurcwclarke says...

I suggest you ring NS&I and ask them if they plan to move there. It is earmarked for Atos shared services.
I suggest you ring NS&I and ask them if they plan to move there. It is earmarked for Atos shared services. Arthurcwclarke
  • Score: 0

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