A LANDMARK office block, said to be a blot on a city’s landscape, could be replaced with another building more than 100ft high, under blueprints being considered.

Sixties-built Milburngate House, home to the Passport Office and National Savings and Investments (NS&I), is set to be demolished under a major revamp of Durham City’s Framwelgate Waterside area.

Consultants Taylor Young (TY) have proposed three options for its replacement – a shopping and leisure development, houses and apartments.

Both residential options include some retail and leisure facilities.

Many residents want to see Milburngate demolished, believing it to be an eyesore.

However, a newly-published Design and Development Brief reveals TY believe the site could accommodate new units of seven storeys, or 85ft, with a “signature building” of up to 111ft.

Roberta Blackman-Woods, Durham City’s MP, said she was pleased planners had accepted the need for a good quality, mixed-use development, but was concerned the development would be too high and too dense.

“It’s extremely important the site is not over-developed,” she said.

TY say any building should be iconic, slender, of the highest quality, not damage views of Durham’s World Heritage Site and not be higher than existing buildings.

Michael Hurlow, project manager for Durham City Vision, said: “Milburngate is a central site. If developed successfully, it can make a major contribution to the local economy.”

Plans to demolish Milburngate House were revealed in May, ahead of a two-day public consultation.

TY say there was widespread support for redeveloping the site, a mixed response to building a new road onto Framwelgate and much opposition to removing trees.

Consultation closes next Friday. Further changes and talks will follow before it goes before Durham County Council and the building is put up for sale.

The Home Office wants to relocate its hundreds of Passport Office workers to another site in Durham. NS&I bosses plan to move their 400 staff into proposed new offices on the site of the old Durham Wasps ice rink.

To take part in the consultation, email support@ durhamcityvision.com