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The £15m proposals include eight retail units of varying sizes, a drive-through restaurant and more than 300 car parking spaces.

Plans for £15m retail development to boost North East town's income

Plans have been revealed for a £15m retail development on the site of a former North East coal mine.

The plans, which focus on the site of the former Houghton-le-Spring Colliery, are being developed by Hellens Group, and are expected to create more retail spending in the town overall, including in established stores.

The company has appointed planning and development consultancy Lichfields to secure planning permission.

The proposals include eight retail units of varying sizes, a drive-through restaurant and over 300 car parking spaces.

The proposed retail units include a discount food store, three large-format retail units, and a further four smaller retail/leisure units.

Lichfields have said that comments from residents will be carefully considered before the proposals are finalised, with all feedback needing to be provided by Thursday April 9.

Daniel Gregg, associate director of Lichfields, commented: “The vast majority of locally generated retail spending in Houghton-le-Spring goes to stores further afield, including those in Sunderland, Washington and Durham, as well as Gateshead and Newcastle.

“This development would significantly improve the range of shopping provision available locally and reduce the need for residents to travel elsewhere.

“It would also provide a boost for the northern end of Houghton town centre, helping to generate spin-off trade for existing businesses along Newbottle Street.”

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