THERE was no doubt disappointment among more than 1,000 people who objected to a local authority’s plans to build a new headquarters in a city centre when councillors in Durham voted narrowly in favour of such a move.

Hundreds of objections have been raised about congestion, air pollution, flood risks, and the impact on tourism and traders.

We understand the concerns of the residents who fear that the county council’s plan to move from Aykley Heads closer to the city centre heralds more development and building work, and it is right that the likely call-in of the proposal by the secretary of state will give it another level of scrutiny.

But if cities are to survive and prosper then they must find new ways of generating income. Attracting more workers closer to the city centre to spend cash in the small independent shops, bars and restaurants will be vital to Durham’s future.

Such a move will require considerable initial investment, but the economic potential of the vacant Aykley Heads shouldn’t be underestimated.

It is hard to argue against the prospect of creating a business park with up to 6,000 new jobs on the site, but Durham is a small city and it is important that the balance between green spaces, heritage and new development is correct.

There is still a long way to go, but the vision is for Durham to be world class on every level and that is hard to argue against.