SOUTH Durham NHS trust has been given the go-ahead for what will be its third new hospital.

The £1m redevelopment of Horn Hall hospital in Stanhope is due to start next month and the building should be completed in December.

The 20-bed hospital will be built on the existing site, replacing the prevent Victorian building. It will include a dedicated physiotherapy service offering a continuous approach to the rehabilitation of patients, an extended occupational therapy service and the introduction of palliative care.

Work is currently under way on a new Bishop Auckland general hospital and full planning permission has also been granted for a new community hospital at Sedgefield.

If everything goes to plan, work will start on site at Sedgefield in June and should be completed within a year.

Improvements promised

DARLINGTON council is to improve its allotment service after almost 50pc of tenants who responded to a questionnaire last year rated the service as poor.

Improvements they wanted included improved security, better management of vacant sites and more site inspection.

Now the council plans to appoint an allotment officer and make use of professional and technical expertise from different council departments.