PLANS for a £25m housing development on the site of a notorious borstal are to be revealed today.

The proposals involve building up to 150 new homes on the former Medomsley Detention Centre site, near Consett.

In recent years a major investigation into historic abuse prompted allegations of sexual and physical assaults from around 1,800 men who were detained there as youngsters in the 70s and 80s.

Several former officers have been jailed but now there are plans to create a new housing estate on the land.

Durham County Councillor Alex Watson said: “It would bring further development for the area especially on the site of the derelict care home, opposite Medomsley Club, which was once a school.

“Some people could well argue that we have too much housing development, but the facts are that we need people to help sustain our economy. I have no doubt, given the course of time, the benefits for the people will follow.”

Medomsley Detention Centre closed in 1988 but was reopened as Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in 1999. The buildings have stood empty since it closed four years ago.

Cllr Watson said there was a risk it could be reopened as another detention centre.

He said: “Escapes were not uncommon. I welcome the housing development in order to rid our area of the threat of a new prison of whatever kind.”

A consultation event will be held at Medomsley Methodist Church Hall on Fines Rd between 3pm and 7pm on Thursday.

Visitors can view the plans for the development, speak to the project team, have their questions answered and share their feedback.

The redevelopment is being led by Homes England, the Government’s national housing agency, which is working with Durham County Council to develop a masterplan for the site.

Initial plans include two, three and four bedroom homes and it is hoped an outline planning application for the scheme will be ready for submission by mid-summer.

Phil Jones, senior development manager for Homes England, said: “Medomsley is well located for local people commuting to Durham and Newcastle. The proposals for Medomsley Edge will help to create much needed, high quality homes in an area where they want to live.

“We look forward to revealing our vision.”