A NEW leisure centre and swimming pool creating up to 150 jobs could be opened on the south side of the Tees within a year.

The development has been earmarked for land off Leven Bank Road, Yarm, and would feature a gym, spa, restaurant and even what is thought to be Teesside’s first vineyard.

No application has yet been submitted to Stockton Borough Council but a public consultation has been organised in Yarm for Friday.

Howson Developments and their consultants, Prism Planning, stressed there are no plans to turn the venue into a nightclub or performance space similar to the old Kirklevington Country Club demolished nearby 11 years ago.

Instead, the idea is to have a leisure facility and restaurant which would also include a cafe, private allotments and an orchard.

Steve Barker, of Prism Planning, said: “A swimming pool for Yarm would be a big asset for the area and the timber building overlooking the Leven Valley would be sympathetic to the area. I think the market garden for the restaurant would be rather unique, especially with its own vineyard which makes it a bit quirky.”

Ruth Shepherd, Consultation Manager and spokesperson for the project said: “We believe the proposal we have responds to the demand for more leisure and community facilities in Yarm and the surrounding area.

“We are aware of the demand for a swimming pool in the area, and this proposed country club can deliver that and more.

“We’d like to hear from as many people as possible about the proposals, and look forward to welcoming the community to the public consultation where they will be able to view the proposals.

It’s expected an outline application will be submitted to Stockton council by the end of September following some initial public consultations.

As well as the Kirklevington Country Club the Yarm area has also lost the Tall Trees Hotel and nightclub in recent years.

The new proposals will be available to view during a drop-in consultation at Yarm Fellowship Hall on Thursday, August 21 between noon and 6.45pm.

Anyone unable to attend will also be able to view the proposals online via theconsultations page from 10am on Friday August 22.

Feedback forms will be available during the public consultation, although feedback and comment can also be provided via the dedicated email address - ycc@resultscommunications.co.uk.

Anyone having trouble accessing the boards should report their problem to consultations@resultscommunications.co.uk or call 01434-689415 between 9am and 5pm.