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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Morrison Busty Depot improvements

A programme of work has begun which will see Morrison Busty Depot near Annfield Plain become a low carbon site with a large-scale solar farm built to power the services that operate from the depot.

EDRF and Northern Powerhouse logos 

What we are doing

The project includes:

  • a three megawatt solar farm to power the whole depot, reducing the carbon emission of buildings by replacing natural gas heating with air source heat pumps, and battery storage which will ensure as much solar generation will be used on site as possible
  • electric vehicle charge points so we can move to making our vehicles electrically powered
  • ecology work to improve the biodiversity within and around the solar farm
  • working with ecology consultants to safeguard the future of any newts, birds, and special grasslands within the area
  • making buildings more energy efficient with a thermal upgrade
  • refurbishment of main office buildings to improve energy efficiency, including LED lighting
  • restoration of Bevin buildings which have historical interest and connections to County Durham's mining history
  • a new vehicle workshop

Project timeline


  • April - appoint a specialist contractor to do the work
  • May - the final stages of design, work with ecology consultants
  • June - construction starts
  • July - demolish some colliery buildings
  • Autumn/winter - offices will receive a thermal upgrade


  • work on solar farm, charging points and battery storage
  • restore Bevin buildings
  • vehicle workshop
  • June - work finishes

Project background

We have received £5m from the European Regional Development Fund to carry out a major refit of the depot. We have also committed an additional £3.3m from our Invest to Save fund.

The work supports the pledge in our Climate Emergency Action Plan to reduce our carbon emissions and become a carbon neutral county by 2050. The work carried out as part of this project will save more than 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and reduce our total emissions by up to 4%.

The depot, on the site of  Morrison Busty Colliery, provides equipment storage, a base for our vehicles, a tip (HWRC), a horticultural nursery and offices.

European Union - European Regional Development Fund logo
Northern Powerhouse logo

In partnership with

  • European Union - European Regional Development Fund
  • Northern Powerhouse
Contact us
Climate Emergency