A PROPOSAL for a new massive warehouse scheme, which includes pubs and restaurants has been approved

The new development at Morton Park, Darlington, is hoping to include 630,000 sq ft (58,500 sqm) of commercial/logistics space, along with associated developments including a hotel, family pub, drive-thru restaurants, cafés and petrol station.

The site will sit on the land adjacent to Amazon’s 2.1m sq ft logistics centre, which is close to completion - has been approved by Darlington Borough Council.

National planning and development consultancy Lichfields secured consent for the proposals at Morton Park, Darlington, on behalf of landowners Durham Cathedral and developers Tritax Symmetry.

Lichfields' has estimated that the development has the potential to reach values of £30m and create over 700 new jobs for the region.

Dominic Holding, Lichfields’ Senior Planner, said: “The site is in an excellent location next to the A66.

"We feel it is likely to prove attractive to potential operators and will enhance the on-going, adjacent, developments.

“This is a key approval for the town and wider area, which could help create hundreds of new jobs and provide a major boost to the economy.”

To achieve a initial green light from Darlington Borough Council, Lichfields put forward two possible scenarios to them, predicting the potential for the 14.7 hectare (36.2 acre) site.

It estimates the development value will be in the range of £30m, and between 715 and 800 jobs would be created once completed.

During the two-year build phase at Morton Park, Lichfields estimate around 140 construction jobs would be created.

The scheme overall would deliver a whopping £15m GVA boost to the regional economy.

The nature of an outline approval means the council has acknowledged the site is suitable for this type of development, although the exact nature of the proposed scheme will be determined at a later date, and a more detailed, reserved matters application will then be submitted to the council.

“Whilst operators have yet to be confirmed, the indicative layout plan shows the development of two restaurants with drive-through facilities, as well as family pub, all of which are likely to be occupied by national food and beverage chains," said Mr Holding.

“They would serve employees at, and visitors to, the various storage and distribution warehouses currently proposed - and already approved - at Morton Park, along with other developments on the eastern side of Darlington.”

The Darlington Amazon warehouse complex, which was approved for construction last year, was set to provide1000 new jobs to the area.

The online mogul started to recruit in December last year for roles including engineers, HR and IT professionals through to health and safety and finance specialists and operations managers.

The Darlington site will also be fitted out with advanced Amazon Robotics technology, which is specially designed to speed along orders.