Miranda Dobson

Member Article

NECC calls for ambitious growth plans

Durham Council authorities have been urged to make ambitious plans for growth by the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC).

Local authorities across the North East were called on to prioritise growth in their plans, while the NECC said flexibility would be essential to deal with the turbulent economic climate.

Jonathan Walker, Head of Member Relations at NECC commented: “Given the current economic uncertainty, it is vital that a strategy retains enough flexibility to account for the inexact science of predicting population changes and demonstrates genuine aspirations for growth.

“County Durham has a great deal to offer the North East economy, providing employment for people across the region and supporting a diverse range of businesses.”

Investment in new housing and infrastructure was highlighted as priority in a submission by the NECC to Durham County Council’s Local Plan consultation.

The Chamber also advised that infrastructure plans required new employment land allocations to underpin developments.

Mr Walker said: “County Durham needs to improve and expand its housing stock and free up land for business development if it is to meet its potential. Improvements to infrastructure will also help the county’s economic aspirations immeasurably.”

He added: “The North East has had a tendency to balkanise when it comes to strategic transport decisions.

“Businesses are often frustrated as minor local projects proceed while regionally important routes remain constricted and struggle to cope with increasing volumes.”

A survey from the NECC showed that business confidence was steadily improving in the region, however companies have been warned that recovery is still a long way off.

North East councils have been encouraged to work alongside the Local Enterprise Partnerships to lobby for funding, and to ensure the most pressing projects go ahead to stimulate growth in the region.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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