DEVELOPERS are seeking permission to build a major addition to the North-East’s largest business park which they say will deliver 1.75 million sq ft of accommodation, a £140m boost to the economy and create more than 3,000 jobs.

Joint venture company Forrest Park Newton Aycliffe Limited, supported by commercial property developers Richardson Barberry, has applied to Durham County Council for outline planning consent for the expansion of Aycliffe Business Park.

Proposals for the 116-acre Forrest Park site, located at junction 59 of the A1(M), near Newton Aycliffe, include a range of business, industrial and distribution units, a trade park consisting of 11 units, and other amenities including hotel, public house, petrol station, roadside restaurant and retail units.

There is also the potential to accommodate a rail freight interchange.

Jonathan Robinson, Barberry Developments director, said: “We are excited at the prospect of delivering one of the North-East’s premier business parks and it’s great that we have reached the stage where the proposals are now with the planners for them to consider.

"Working alongside Durham County Council, the Forrest family and the Local Enterprise Partnership, our vision is to create a business park that provides a wide range of high quality accommodation to attract major investment and jobs to the region.”

Forrest Park – which has attracted £13 million funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership - could deliver a gross value added economic boost to the area of £495 million over the next ten to 15 years.

Aycliffe Business Park, which includes Hitachi Rail, is already home to about 500 companies and about 10,000 employees.

Preparatory groundworks, site infrastructure including new substation, service connections and highways improvements known as the Forrest Park enabling works began in 2016 and have now been completed.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The submitting of this application is a major milestone towards delivering thousands of jobs to the Newton Aycliffe area.

“This is a joint venture between the council and the Forrest family, and is just one of a number of sites the council is bringing forward to help deliver long-term economic growth and prosperity for the people of County Durham.”

And Ben Holmes, director on behalf of Richardson, said: “This will be our fourth major project in the region in recent years, having already delivered two phases at Freemans Reach in Durham, and adding to our existing Milburngate project.

“Richardson and Barberry have a successful and longstanding relationship that spans over 35 years, having completed numerous developments together.”

A planning decision is expected in April.