A NEW business park that will soon be home to a major online retailer could be expanded if new plans to transform adjoining land are approved.

Work is well underway on the new 94-acre site known as Symmetry Park, next to Lingfield Point in Darlington, which is expected to be occupied by Amazon later this year.

Outline planning permission has now been submitted for the next phase of the business park, which could include restaurants, cafes, a pub, hotel, drive thru takeaways and a petrol station.

Darlington Borough Council has previously claimed the site could create thousands of jobs, but last night, Darlington MP Jenny Chapman said she still had "questions to ask" about the working conditions at Amazon.

The Northern Echo:

She also expressed concerns about the new road infrastructure around the site.

A number of proposals have been submitted as part of the outline planning application, which include splitting the remaining space into separate units, or constructing one individual warehouse which will be around 630,000 sq ft.

DB Symmetry have previously confirmed the site is the largest they had worked on in the North-East, with Amazon expecting to confirm they are occupying the majority of the site in the coming months, ahead of their move on site in the summer.

The occupiers of the remaining space, which is around a third of the site, should also be revealed in the coming months.

The Northern Echo:

Ms Chapman said: “I welcome this development in the planning process and the further details of the ongoing works at Symmetry Park, these plans are good news for Darlington.

“That being said, I still have questions to ask about the road infrastructure around the site and the working conditions at Amazon and I’ll be pursuing those going forward.”

Cllr Stephen Harker, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “The building work at the Symmetry Park site, as it takes shape, has captured the imagination in recent weeks and months.

"The economic benefits phase one will bring to Darlington are well documented. Now, the developer is seeking outline planning permission for a potential future second phase.

"That application was submitted in January, so it is early days in terms of making any decisions. It is important we respect the integrity of the planning process and allow due diligence to be carried out.”

The Northern Echo:

Simon Dixon, Director at DB Symmetry, said: “With phase one development at Symmetry Park Darlington progressing apace and practical completion due by August this year, we are pleased to submit an outline planning application to develop the rest of the site.

"The strategic location, adjacent to the A66 and close to the A1(M) lends the scheme well to further logistics use and roadside/leisure amenities.

"We hope to gain consent by April 2019.”