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Planners to consider four-storey office block plan
A PLANNING application has been lodged for an office block that will secure the future of 400 jobs in a North-East town.
The four-storey building, adjacent to Darlington town hall, will house Department for Education (DfE) employees, whose jobs are being moved from the run-down Mowden Hall premises in the town.
Paperwork on the deal between DfE and Darlington Borough Council (DBC) is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
It was announced back in April that the jobs would remain in Darlington, following months of uncertainty after it became clear Mowden Hall was to close.
Although the legal formalities of the deal between DfE and DBC have yet to be concluded, the planning process has got under way, with the council submitting an application, to itself, for the building work.
A report prepared for planning committee members said the 4,000sq metre building, on land currently occupied by the town hall car park, would result in a net loss of 45 parking spaces.
Experts from Durham University assessed the archaeological significance of the site as part of preliminary work and reported that the site was once occupied by a Bishop’s palace or manor, followed by a workhouse.
The archaeologists concluded that the historic significance of the site could be protected through further excavation and analysis.
Planning officers are recommending the application be approved subject to conditions, including one to mitigate the potential impact on archaeological remains.
The committee meets at 1.30pm on Wednesday, September 25, at the town hall.
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