Mount Oswald development plans to help reinforce Durham City’s position as economic driver for region

August 17, 2012 | Mt Oswald News

Ongoing work to help reaffirm and enhance Durham City’s leading role in the County’s continuing economic development will be supported by plans for the development of the Mount Oswald Golf Club site that have today 13 August been submitted to the County Council. 

Durham City-based Banks Property has been conducting a public engagement programme for the last ten months around the proposal, which provides for mixed housing, student accommodation, new community facilities, a convenience store and new public open spaces.

The development has been designed to support Durham City’s position as both a regional centre for inward investment and an economic driver for the wider region.

 If it is approved, the scheme would support around 220 local jobs, with around 120 people employed on site during the construction phase of the scheme, and a further 100 jobs across the supply chain.

Opportunities for further employment could follow from the development of new facilities including a health centre, small offices and future uses of the Mount Oswald manor house.

The preferred options for the County Durham Plan (made available on 24 July 2012) identified the Mount Oswald site as suitable for housing and student accommodation development.

The development proposals would also open up generous public open spaces of around 16.3 acres.  In comparison, the Botanical Gardens cover around 12.1 acres, with the public open space at Wharton Park (9.1acres), Sheraton Park (6.7 acres) and the Racecourse (4.9acres) all significantly smaller.

A number of natural corridors running through the site leading into a range of different formal and informal public spaces, and a network of footpaths, a community garden and new woodland are also included.

The provision for student accommodation would help to establish more balanced communities in Durham city centre by freeing up properties that are currently occupied for student housing for use by families, young professionals and other groups, and would also support the University’s development.  

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, says: “The local feedback we’ve gathered over recent months has been extremely valuable in helping us finalise the design for the Mount Oswald development, and we’re very pleased to have reached this landmark.

“Private sector development of this type will play a crucial role in the regional and national economy’s recovery from the double dip recession, and the Mount Oswald scheme would help reinforce Durham City’s position as the driving force for economic growth across the whole county.

“These much needed homes and services will both meet the present needs of local people and also attract and retain the type of highly-skilled workforce needed to help Durham City realise its economic potential.

“Preserving and opening up green space on the site has always been important to our development ideas.  We’re therefore proposing to create a generous area of public open space in Durham City, somewhere that could be enjoyed in a variety of ways by people who live, work and visit the area, as well as offering a new route into the centre from the south west of the city.”

 Anyone who would like more information on the development proposals can contact the Banks community relations team by calling 0191 378 6100 or emailing

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