A POTENTIAL £100m development of 'regional importance' in Stanley has suffered a serious knock-back.

Derwentside District Cou-ncil officers have never released full details of what proposals for the King's Head field in Stanley entails.

But at a packed public meeting last Thursday, it was revealed that the scheme is almost certain to be scaled down.

Chief planning officer Peter Reynolds , who attended the meeting organised by Stanley Chamber of Trade, said that he could not give precise details of proposals received by the council so far.

He said: "This started when we had a developer come to use with a very exciting scheme of regional significance. It was the kind of development idea that would have had people driving four or five hours to the area like they might for the Metro Centre or Flamingo Land.

"For some reason they have cooled on that although it could still be revived and we have received a number of other, smaller-scale, proposals.

"The schemes that are still being discussed are still very important for the potential development of Stanley."

Some traders at the meeting at Derwentside College expressed fears that if any significant development, which could include leisure, retail and housing, was to go ahead it could take trade from the town centre and split the town in two.

One told of his fears for the King's Head development. He said: "It is on the other side of the by-pass and would split the town in half. You'll be left with a Front Street with empty shops."

But there is some good news for the town after it was revealed that the council was expecting to receive £350,000 from the Government during the next three years to improve transport links in the area.

Mr Reynolds said the council expected to receive £55,000 later this year to improve transport in Stan-ley after plans had been fully inspected by Government inspectors. A further £150,000 could also be granted next year and another £150,000 the following year