Policy E1

Policy E1: Larger Employment Sites

Support will be given to the development of larger sites suitable for the creation of employment, including the following two strategic employment sites as shown on the proposals map.

  1. A business park at Aykley Heads and County Hall, Durham County Council site on non-Green Belt land for prestige office development, business incubators and start-up businesses, which fall within use classes B1a (Business – Offices) and B1b (Business – Research & Development); and
  2. A site for science and high technology developments and business start-ups and incubators on the Durham Science Park, Mountjoy, which fall within use class B1a (Business – offices) and B1b (Business – Research & Development).

4.109 Details of the sites (shown in Map 8) are as follows:

  • Site E1.1 – at Aykley Heads and County Hall – is on the non-Green Belt part of this area. Ancillary uses appropriate to the principal uses at the site will be acceptable in principle. Retain woodland and veteran trees and heritage assets. Design must be appropriate to the settings of the Durham City Conservation Area and the World Heritage Site (particularly heritage Policy H2.2, points 2, 5 and 6), and promote sustainable development as set out in sustainability Policy S2.
  • Site E1.2 – Mountjoy – a minimum buffer of 15m of native tree planting is required against the ancient woodland and the wetlands.

4.110 Durham Science Park is owned by Durham University and is situated next to the Mountjoy Research Centre. It is has good access both to the University and the City. Science Parks usually consist of low-density development located in close proximity to a university campus, thereby allowing for the creation of close links between academic institutions and business. As such the site is well situated for start-up and incubator businesses.

4.111 A comprehensive Environmental Assessment will need to be undertaken to show the effect that new development will have upon any site and in particular the Aykley Heads and Durham County Council Headquarters area. This site provides an exceptional opportunity to attract and generate high quality jobs to Durham. This Environmental Assessment will include traffic generation, the penetration of public transport into the site, visual impact, and loss of open space and protection of nature conservation interests, as set out in the green infrastructure Policies G1.7 and G1.8. It will include an assessment of the mitigation measures appropriate to the development in a mature parkland landscape. The Environmental Assessment will form the basis upon which individual planning applications will be brought forward for the development of the land at these sites. Developments should favour sustainable transport to minimise any adverse effect created by the development on the environment (see transport Policy T1).

4.112 New commercial development should incorporate a communal open area, outdoor where possible, to enhance the well-being of their employees.

Note: For justification see Policy E2

A zoomable version of the map is available.

Next section : Policy E2: Other Employment Sites

One Response to Policy E1

  1. John Pacey says:

    POLICY E 1
    In accepting the identification of the Aykley Heads site as one with the potential to locate high-tec businesses and employment opportunity it is crucial that access arrangements are planned to take account of and deal effectively with the enormous additional volume of traffic which will be generated in the Sniperley roundabout area, given plans for very major housing development at Sniperley, and the spectre of the so-called western relief road converging at this point.