PLANS for a £60m housing development on a former factory site have been revealed.

Barratt North-East wants to build 366 homes on the former Thorn site, in Spennymoor, County Durham.

The Merrington Lane factory was demolished after Thorn moved to a new factory and training academy on the town’s Green Lane Industrial Estate, in early 2009.

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When the relocation was approved in 2006, it was coupled with consent for 400 houses. Income from the sale of the land bankrolled Thorn’s relocation which kept the plant operational in Spennymoor.

In a statement to the council, Barratt said: “The overall cost of the new factory development and the number of direct and indirect jobs created has not been researched, but it is beyond doubt that it has been major boon to the local economy.”

The firm said the building costs alone of the second, residential phase of the project are an estimated £50,610,667 over 12 years. Barratts amended earlier plans and now seeks detailed planning permission from Durham County Council for 366 houses on the site.

If approved, most of the houses would be traditional three-bedroom houses. There would also be 50 two bedroom properties, including 22 flats over garages, 90 four bedroom houses and 16 five bedroom houses.

Apartments in the original scheme have been dropped because the company said there is no longer a market for them.

Consultation on the proposals ends on May 9.

Neil Milburn, development director at Barratt North- East, said: “Our proposals would bring positive benefits to the area and the local community, providing much-needed new homes and employment opportunities.

“The scheme represents a substantial investment for us and we would not be making this significant commitment to the market in this area unless we were confident about its prospects."

If plans are approved the firm hopes to start work on site this summer. It is understood that Electrolux is also considering a planning application for about 430 homes on the site of its former cooker factory, in Merrington Lane, which closed in 2007.