Planning Application For Houghall Redevelopment Approved
Artist's impression of part of the East Durham College Houghall Campus redevelopment.
Following Durham County Council’s County Planning Committee meeting (Tuesday 1st April), Durham County Councillors gave East Durham College’s Houghall Campus redevelopment planning application a big thumbs up, following a unanimous yes vote.
College Principal Suzanne Duncan expressed her delight at the decision and said it was not only great news for the College but also the local economy in County Durham and beyond.
Mrs Duncan said: “The College is delighted by the Council’s decision to approve our planning application.
“The proposed development will include facilities which will allow us to offer more places as well as to broaden and expand the curriculum offer, such as offering more of our students a progression route on to Level 4 programmes of study and degree level courses.
“The economic benefits of the proposed development will safeguard over 100 jobs as well as creating about 100 new ones, increase the spending power of students completing their studies by approximately £2 million a year; and see a £60.4 million benefit to society in the form of an expanded tax base and a variety of social benefits related to reduced crime, lower unemployment and increased health and well-being.
"The College have worked proactively with Durham County Council throughout the planning process to ensure we created a sustainable development proposal and I’m thrilled it has been met with unanimous approval.”
And now that planning permission is in place, the College is confident that funding will soon follow to deliver the ambitious plans.
Suzanne Duncan added: “The College is very hopeful that funding to deliver the £10 million re-development will be received from the Skills Funding Agency.
“With planning permission granted the College now has a much greater chance of securing capital funding which could mean a positive public announcement in the near future.”
Demand from north east students to study at Houghall is increasing year-on-year and by September 2015 it is envisaged that over 1,100 students will be following land-based programmes at the Durham-based campus.