PLANNING permission has been granted for a £140m business park in County Durham.

Forrest Park (Newton Aycliffe) Limited has secured outline planning permission to develop a 55-hectare site near Newton Aycliffe.

The development, which includes 1.75m sq ft of business, industrial, warehouse and trade units, a 60-bed hotel, pub, roadside restaurant and retail units, will extend Aycliffe Business Park to become the largest in the North-East.

The scheme, which it is hoped will create 3,200 jobs over the next 20 years, is a joint venture between Durham County Council, the Forrest family and is supported by commercial property developer Richardson Barberry.

It was approved by a Durham County Council planning committee today.

Council leader Simon Henig said: “I am delighted plans for Forrest Park have been approved. This is an opportunity for us to attract new businesses to County Durham, creating thousands of high-quality jobs and boosting the local economy.

“This is not just about investing in today; it is about creating an environment where businesses can flourish, and future generations of residents can access exciting opportunities and enjoy rewarding careers near to where they live.”

Jonathan Robinson, Barberry developments director, said: "We now have a prominent motorway-connected, serviced and consented site ready for development, and are excited at the prospect of delivering one of the North-East’s premier business parks.”

Last year, planning permission was granted to improve access to the site. These major highways, signalisation, drainage and power upgrades have already been completed, including the creation of a new traffic light-controlled junction on the A167.