The leader of Durham County Council says a revised County Plan will be drawn up ready for a new inspection in 2016.
It was revealed this week that the County Durham Plan (CDP) will be subject to a fresh examination in public after weeks of wrangling to revive the plan between the local authority and Government ministers.
The CDP is an economic blueprint for the area that aims to create 30,000 fresh jobs, 500 hectares of employment land, 9,500sq metres of retail space and 31,400 new homes by 2030.
The plan original included 2,000 new homes for Newton Aycliffe and 123 hectares of new employment land on Aycliffe Business Park.
It had been rejected in February after planning inspector Harold Stephens said it was “flawed” and “unsound”.
He felt the council’s jobs targets, on which the homes and roads in the plan had been based, were too ambitious.
The council had lodged papers with the High Court challenging the decision, and has now come to an out-of-court agreement with the Government.
Council leader Simon Henig told Aycliffe Today he expected a new plan to be ready for inspection in the New Year.
Speaking at a meeting of the Aycliffe Business Park Community, he told us: “It’s important that we get the County Durham Plan back on track.
“We’ve got ambitious aims of creating new jobs and carrying on our infrastructure plans into the future with tens of thousands of new jobs.
“The inspector’s report had put that into doubt by reducing the numbers we could look towards, but we’ve worked very hard with the Government and now we can set that aside and move on to a new inspection and hearing, probably in the New Year.”
Mr Henig added: “Aycliffe Business Park is now the biggest business park in the whole of the North East. It’s fantastic to see it grow, and we want it to grow further.
“There are plans that we’re working on to further develop a couple of areas so that we can carry on growing the park, which means more jobs, more opportunities for our residents across County Durham.
“Newton Aycliffe is becoming a great success story and long may it continue.”
The Labour MP Sedgefield, Phil Wilson, praised the local authority for working hard to agree a deal with the Government.
He told us: “It’s absolutely imperative that a unitary authority like Durham, which is supposed to have an economic strategy for the whole of the county, is allowed to get on with it.
“The County Council has shown real ambition, and I don’t think you should cap ambition.
“We want to see more jobs in the area, we want to see new housing developments for our young people. There’s a long wait for council houses at the moment and we need a strategy for the local area which is going to deal with housing and economic development.
“All credit to the council for coming to an agreement with the Government over the plan and hopefully now they can press on.”
Go to our Video Vault to see our interview with Mr Wilson.