A £6m plan to rejuvenate housing and general area in a North East town is set to be tabled to councillors next week with aims to eventually completely transform the look of multiple streets.

Durham County Council's Cabinet will on January 17 vote on the Horden Masterplan - a multi-million-pound scheme focused on acquiring homes on Third Street and other 'numbered' streets.

The homes, some of which are empty, could be acquired by the council and turned into new housing, demolished or even re-built. 

At the meeting, councillors will also be asked to support continuing its efforts to identify funding sources that could finance wider regeneration activity within Horden.

This includes community facilities, public spaces, walking, and cycling routes.

Cllr James Rowlandson, the authority’s portfolio holder for resources, investment and assets, said: “We’re really excited to be on the brink of agreeing on the acquisition of properties on Third Street, with the aim of providing a better standard of housing for local people.

“This will be either through redevelopment, demolition and new build or a mix of these.

“Our ultimate ambition is that our vision for Third Street will improve quality of life for people while acting as a catalyst for more regeneration activity within Horden and helping us to attract outside investment in the community.”

This latest movement in the overall scheme comes five years after plans were initially drawn, and later a public consultation with residents found the majority backed proposals.

Graham Easterlow, chief executive of East Durham Trust, has backed the masterplan.

He commented: “Investment in the regeneration of the villages of East Durham is vital.

“Any work to help improve things is surely a good step in the right direction. East Durham Trust will continue to work with all in our communities to ensure our beautiful part of the world receives the critical investment that is so desperately needed and that community needs are front and centre.”

MP for Easington, Grahame Morris added: "I welcome investment in Horden. However, the decision to start at Third Street, seems to have more to do about its proximity to the rail station, rather than trying to tackle the worst affected streets.  

"There have been multiple public consultations in Horden over recent years, however, when there is actual funding available, decisions are made without consideration of the views of local elected members and the public.

"A limited scheme redeveloping one street will have little impact if work isn’t taken to improve public transport, secure education and employment opportunities, or without a long term vision for Horden’s future.

"The Council should listen to locally elected councillors and the community, who have not been consulted but informed of the scheme.

"I will not prejudge the scheme. The test will be whether this limited scheme is successful in attracting additional public and private investment that will help secure the regeneration of Horden."

For those currently living in the homes that would be subject to the takeover, the council has stated that it will help them find new homes.


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For John Keenan, he now worries whether he will be able to afford a new place due to the costs that come with moving. He moved to Horden from London and immediately warmed to the area’s proximity to the beach and countryside as well as the generosity of locals. 

He explained: “I spent every bit of savings I had, and for what? We’re now going to have to move but don’t know where that will be. My house is going through a Compulsory Purchase Order and I may not get all the money back that it’s worth. 

“They have promised they are going to find us a house but that’s an awful lot of houses to find for people.”