Expansion of a local primary school, together with improvements to roads, footpaths, cycle routes, street lighting and sports facilities, are set to be delivered as part of a major development project at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
The airport’s majority shareholder, Peel Group will make financial contributions of £1.2m to deliver these improvements and in addition, provision will be made for affordable housing, either within the planned housing development, via a contribution of £1.8million or a combination of both.
The benefits to the local community form part of the approval by Darlington Council for plans to develop land on the northside of the airport, including residential development and a local services centre for retail, commercial, leisure and community uses.
The developments form a key element in implementing the strategy, set out in the Airport Business Plan.
With the revenue generated from the developments being fully re-invested in the wider airport business, the move will provide a significant contribution towards securing the airport’s future.
Under the agreement with the Council, the Airport will make a range of financial contributions, including:
• £450,000 towards the expansion of St George’s Church Primary School in Middleton St George.
• Over £250,000 towards highways improvements on the A66
• £413,500 towards a range of improvements, including street lighting, bus stops, footpaths and cycle routes.
• £38,400 towards improvements of local sports pitches.
Key elements in the outline planning application include a residential development of up to 350 houses and a local services centre including small scale retail space, financial and professional services, restaurants and other leisure facilities. Community facilities are also proposed which could include a health centre, dentist and nursery.
In a statement following the finalising of the agreement, the airport said: “Central to our plans is maximising the potential of the whole airport site to provide other sources of revenue alongside our passenger and general aviation operations.
“Durham Tees Valley has the advantage of having a significant land holding, with the opportunity to deliver developments, such as the housing plans within the application.
“The funding to be released from the housing plans will, of course, become available once a developer becomes involved.
“Similar housing schemes have been successfully developed at a number of other UK airports and the planned housing will be on land which will not affect airport operations nor hinder future growth.
“In addition, there will be significant benefits for the local area, both with the funding for improvements being made through the agreement with the Council and the provision of facilities within the development itself.”