£140m Business Park Plans Get Go-Ahead

Plans to create a £140 million business park with the potential to create over 3,100 jobs have been approved, West Midlands-based joint venture developer Richardson Barberry announced today.

Forrest Park (Newton Aycliffe) Limited has secured outline planning permission to develop a 55-hectare site located at the southeast of the town for commercial and manufacturing use.

It will see the creation of 1.75 million sq ft of business, industrial, warehouse and trade units, a 60-bed hotel, public house and roadside restaurant and retail units next to the A1.

The development will extend Aycliffe Business Park, at Newton Aycliffe, to become the largest in the North East and has the potential to create over 3,100 jobs and boost County Durham’s economy by almost half a billion pounds over the next 20 years.

Durham County Council’s county planning committee followed planning officers’ recommendations and approved the scheme. The development is a joint venture by the council and the Forrest family, supported by commercial property developer Richardson Barberry.

Jonathan Robinson, director of Barberry Developments, based near Stourbridge, said: “The approval of the Forrest Park planning application is major news for the North East. Working alongside Durham County Council, the Forrest family and the Local Enterprise Partnership, our vision is to create a business park that provides a wide range of high-quality accommodation, which will attract local, regional, national and international occupiers, stimulating economic growth and new jobs for the region.

“Following today’s committee decision, Richardson Barberry will continue to promote Forrest Park and further our conversations with several key occupiers. We now have a prominent motorway-connected, serviced and consented site oven-ready for development. We are excited at the prospect of delivering one of the North East’s premier business parks. We can  provide building options for smaller occupiers on the trade park and bigger building options  of circa 20,000 sq ft to 500,000 sq ft on the site”

Forrest Park has already attracted international attention. Earlier this year it was featured in a property portfolio, launched by the Department for International Trade to showcase the wide array of opportunities on offer in the UK to foreign investors. It was one of just 11 projects chosen to demonstrate Britain’s strengths in key sectors, from manufacturing and green energy production, to tourism, business and housing.

Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “I am delighted plans for Forrest Park have been approved. This is an opportunity for us to attract new businesses to County Durham, creating thousands of high-quality jobs and boosting the local economy.

“This is not just about investing in today; it is about creating an environment where businesses can flourish, and future generations of residents can access exciting opportunities and enjoy rewarding careers near to where they live.”

Last year, planning permission was granted to improve access to the site. These major highways, signalisation, drainage and power upgrades have already been completed, including the creation of a new traffic light-controlled junction on the A167.

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