Work set to start on Mount Oswald northern access road

September 30, 2014 | Mt Oswald News

Work on the construction of the access road into the Mount Oswald site in Durham City is set to begin after planning permission was granted for the project by Durham County Council.

Durham-based family-owned developer The Banks Group won planning approval last year for the Mount Oswald scheme, which includes executive housing, a university quarter, new formal and informal public open spaces and a range of new community facilities, and has since been working up detailed proposals for each part of the site.

The new 450 metre-long road will provide the main route into the site from South Road, and will offer access to the parts of it that have been allocated for university uses and the community hub, as well as to the area in its North West corner in which the second phase of housing will be built.

The new road junction will be opposite the Howlands Park & Ride, where around £1.8 million will be spent on improving the service by extending the route to the Sniperley Park and Ride, introducing additional buses and making additional parking spaces available nearby in the vicinity of the site.

Banks will begin work on the road before the end of September, with a view to completing the project early in the new year.

Traffic lights will also be added to the junction of the new road and South Road, with a range of other highway improvements, such as new road signage, traffic islands, crossing points and bus stops, being introduced as part of the overall scheme.

Contracts relating to various aspects of the new road’s construction are currently being finalised, with a number of local suppliers set to be appointed for the jobs alongside Bowburn-based Deerness Fencing & Landscaping, Premier Tree Services of Peterlee and Stanhope-based ecology consultants All About Trees, all of which have already been undertaking different tasks on the site.

The spine road is the latest stage of work to get underway at the Mount Oswald site, which has been designed by Banks in support of the County Council’s vision of Durham City acting as a driver of economic growth in the county.

David Wilson Homes has started work on the development of 60 luxury homes on the site, while preparations for the installation of the site’s sustainable urban drainage system have also been ongoing, and Banks recently reached an agreement with Durham University for the purchase of another part of the development.

John Ruddick, senior property development manager at The Banks Group, says: “Building this road will open up a number of different parts of the Mount Oswald site, and will act as a catalyst for taking the development of each of them forward.

“Our aim is to start work as soon as we can, and the contract tender process we’re current finalising will see North East-based suppliers being appointed to do the work required, thus adding even more to the contribution that this project will make to the regional economy.”

The Mount Oswald scheme will see around 120 people employed on site during the construction phase of the scheme, with a further 100 jobs across the supply chain.

Up to a further 164 permanent jobs could also be supported by the different elements of the Mount Oswald development when it is complete, with local employment opportunities being created on the site through a new convenience store, University buildings, small offices and the sustainable re-use of the Mount Oswald manor house.

More than £4.2million has been allocated in total by Banks to pay for a range of substantial improvements for the local community, including a contribution of £2 million for off-site affordable housing in locations that will be decided by Durham County Council, which equates to around 58 new affordable homes being built in the Durham City area.

The company will pay £250,000 to enable the construction of a new community building at Lowes Barns, and will also make a £75,000 contribution towards the provision of additional classrooms at two local schools, St Oswald’s Church of England and Durham St Margaret’s Primary.

For updates on the Mount Oswald project, please visit

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