COUNCILLORS are being recommended to rule that they would accept no other development on the site of a planned park-and-ride complex.

Durham County Council has given itself planning permission to build the first of three parks, designed to ease traffic congestion in the centre of Durham, on farm land, near the A1(M) interchange at Belmont. The council is negotiating to compulsorily purchase the land it needs.

However, a landowner is asking Durham City Council for a certificate of appropriate alternative development, which will be used in assessing the land's value.

The certificate determines what alternative land uses might have won planning permission if the park-and-ride scheme was not going ahead.

The landowner is asking for uses including retail, industrial, hotel and housing to be included.

However, the council's development control will be told tomorrow by officers that planning policies restrict land development to agriculture.

A report to the committee says: "This application is in effect a hypothetical planning application for a variety of land uses on a piece of land that is the subject of a compulsory purchase order by a public authority."

It adds: "The site is likely to be the subject to continuing rural restraint policies in the foreseeable future.''

The council would have resisted any development proposals other than the park- and-ride plan.