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Zone 01, NETPARK Phase 3a



On behalf of Durham County Council, DPP are preparing a planning application for the Unit 9 building within Zone 01 of phase 3a of the NETPark development together with landscape and access proposals for the entirety of Zone 01.

We are aiming to submit a detailed planning application for the development this summer, but prior to this we would like to invite you to view, and comment on, the design proposals.

The consultation period will run from Thursday 25th April to Thursday 2nd May 2024. In addition to this consultation website, a drop-in event will be held on Thursday 25th April 2024 from 11am – 1pm. Further details on this are provided below.

The site

Located north of Sedgefield, in the heart of County Durham, NETPark is one of the UK’s premier science, engineering, and technology parks. NETPark specialises in the commercialisation of cutting edge research and development from major international organisations, universities, and entrepreneurs.

Phase 3a of the site comprises approximately 16.7 hectares of undeveloped land which is situated to the north west of the wider development site. The site lies to the west of the A177, the east of William Armstrong Way, the north of surrounding agricultural fields, and to the south of the existing NETPark development.

The site was allocated within the County Durham Plan (adopted 2020) as employment land for research and development use. The Plan identifies the wider development as a regionally significant centre for research and development. It is identified as important under the Plan in its role to unlock the research potential of north east universities and colleges.

Since opening in 2004, NETPark has had big ambitions to become one of the UK’s leading science parks. It is well on its way to achieving that goal, with over 40 companies and 700 people employed on site. The expansion is needed to enable companies to reach their full potential and therefore, continue its’ success. Space at NETPark is currently at its capacity with 100% of the available laboratory, office and accomodation currently occupied or reserved.

NETPark has been split into three phases. Phases 1 and 2 have been established for many years. Phase 3 has been split into two areas (3a and 3b) that received an outline application approval in 1999 for up to 24,000sqm of business park development. A subsequent approval in 2022 relating to Phase 3a secured an additional 38, 118sqm of space across three zones.

Zone 01 has outline consent and requires the submission and approval of a reserved matters planning application before any further development can be commenced.

Zone 02 comprises, seven speculative units which have planning approval and are currently under construction and will be complete by February 2025.

Zone 03 comprises of a terrace of four units and car parking, which have planning approval and are currently under construction and will be complete by February 2025.  There is an outline consent for a Hub building that may be constructed in the future. 

The Proposal

Zone 01 has been earmarked, since the outset of the development of Phase 3a, for two larger bespoke facilities. This has been developed since the outline approval in 2022.

It is proposed that a minor material amendment (S73) application is submitted to amend the outline parameters to enable the delivery of 3 buildings within this zone, Units 9, 10, and 11. Simultaneously a Reserved Matters (RM) application will be prepared and submitted to secure the details of appearance, landscaping, layout and scale for the Unit 9 building only, the details for the remaining two buildings will come forward at a later date via future RM applications.

We would welcome your comments on this proposed scheme.

Providing your Feedback

Have your say

Please come along to our consultation event to see the proposed designs, discuss with the team and provide your comments. This event will be held on:

Thursday 25th April 2024 from 11am – 1pm at NETPark Café, Joseph Swan Road, Sedgefield, County Durham, TS21 3FH.

Following closure of the consultation period (2nd May 2024), all feedback will be reviewed ahead of finalising the scheme for the planning application, and will be responded to within a Statement of Community Involvement which will be submitted in support of the planning application. Once the planning application has been submitted there will be a further opportunity for you to comment on the planning application through the Local Planning Authority’s statutory consultation period.

Feedback Form

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