PERMISSION is being sought to build a new athletics facility in County Durham.

An application has been submitted to Durham County Council for an athletics track on land to the north of NETPark, at Sedgefield.

The application was prepared by Lichfields on behalf of the East Durham Community Athletics Track (EDCAT) steering group in association with the Friends of Sedgefield Harriers (FOSH).

If granted, the proposal will see a six-lane running track with an eight-lane straight and a natural grass infield, combined long/triple jump runway and landing pits, pole vault runway and landing pits.

Founded in 2005, Sedgefield Harriers has grown into one of the county’s most successful clubs, with a large senior membership and an even bigger junior section.

To date, Sedgefield Harriers has been based at Sedgefield Community College, initially because it was a specialist sports college with a modern sports hall.

However, since 2010, there has been an aspiration to develop a new athletics facility that will enable the club to both better meet

the needs of its current membership and support sports development across the wider sports community and across south east Durham.

The project has attracted support from the likes of Steve Cram, Paula Radcliffe, Daley Thompson, Haile Gebrselassie, Sir Mo Farah, Sir Steve Redgrave, Roger Black, Jonathan Edwards, Allison Curbishley, Chris Tomlinson and Team GB middle distance star Laura Weightman.

The planning application states: "Through ongoing discussions with Durham County Council, (DCC) a potential site has been identified at NETPark in Sedgefield. The subject site was previously owned by NHS Estates but was recently acquired by Durham County Council as part of their acquisition of land to facilitate the development of further land as an extension to NETPark.

"Given the scale of the land allocation, the entirety of NETPark is unlikely to be fully developed for many years, and Durham County Council has agreed, in principle, to lease the site to a track management group for 30 years in order to allow the site to be used as a community athletics facility."

However, plans have prompted several objections from nearby residents over concerns including noise pollution, environmental impacts and antisocial behaviour.

To view the full planning application or comment on the proposals visit

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