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Aykley Heads - FAQs


Frequently asked questions about the Aykley Heads project.

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Why are we developing Aykley Heads?                              

The redevelopment of the site offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to attract up to 4,000 private sector jobs across phases one and two and boost County Durham's economy.

The relocation of County Hall to the new HQ site presents this opportunity for the redevelopment at Aykley Heads.

The site is situated in a unique parkland setting, with views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, walkable to the city centre, bus routes and the main east coast rail line.

How do we know it will work?

Demand for office space has been strong, particularly on the northern part of the site. It is already home to over 30 companies and there is very little floorspace remaining on the site.

There is significant market interest in Durham for Grade A office space and this has been the case for some time.

The masterplan has been produced following a comprehensive range of assessments and we are confident the redevelopment will meet the requirements of the market. 

What about traffic and parking?

Phases one and two of the redevelopment are not expected to impact upon the existing infrastructure. All developments on the site will be subject to the standard planning process. 

The use of alternative modes of transport to the private car will be encouraged and we envisage that users will cycle, walk, use the train or bus services, including park and ride, to access the site.

There will be a total of 1,131 car parking spaces across the site, consisting of surface parking and a multi-storey car park (MSCP). This reflects current parking levels to ensure no further impact on the road network.

What about landscaping and public open space?

The site will be laid out in a campus style which respects and embraces the mature parkland landscape, with views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A landscape strategy has been produced for the site exploring the key landscaping and ecological features.

The current woodland spine will run throughout the centre of the site and current footpaths and cycleways will be enhanced, improving connectivity across the site. 

This site will continue to provide a resource for the wider community, as well as businesses.

What are the current proposals for Plot C?

It is proposed to develop Plot C first and detailed plans for the building will form part of the planning application.

Plot C is located to the northern part of the Aykley Heads site, to the east of Northumbria House and north-west of Salvus House. 

The proposed development comprises a three-storey office development of 37,802ft2 (3,512m2). The proposed building is U-shaped with the entrance centrally located at the south of the building. 

There will be 124 car parking spaces, landscape scheme and cycle parking within the building.

What will the economic benefits be?

Including future phases, the whole area is capable of attracting up to 6,000 high quality jobs and is worth up to £400m to the county's economy.

The redevelopment of phases one and two in this proposed planning application will generate around 4,000 jobs, predominantly in high-value sectors such as ICT, FinTech, business, professional and financial services. It will also support small/medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through the provision of flexible units and create construction jobs.

The development of additional employment space will also help the city and region retain talented young people from local colleges and Durham University.

What will it cost and where will the money come from?

Initially, we will make an investment to develop Plot C. Over the long term, we will receive revenue from increased business rates and rental income to cover the initial investment.

Is any of the development in the green belt?

A small part of the site is located within the Durham Green Belt. This area of land (Plot A South) is currently County Hall's visitor car park and therefore brownfield land.

Planning policy encourages the re-use of brownfield land and also allows development on green belt land in special circumstances.

A full assessment of the proposed development will be set out in the planning application documents.

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