Six warehouses approved for Chester-le-Street Drum business park

The plans were approved with conditions, including a requirement for the developer to spend £106,000 on ecology and biodiversity.

The six detached units will be built on a four-hectare employment site near the Drum Industrial Estate, Drum Road, Chester-le-Street.

The application was debated at a meeting of the County Planning Committee on Tuesday 1 November.

To mitigate ecological harm, it was recommended a payment of £106,000 was made by the developer but spent in Sedgefield.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for North Lodge and Chester-le-Street, Craig Martin (pictured right) moved an amendment to have the money to be spent within the Chester-le-Street area.

He said: “It isn’t acceptable that the ecology of our town can be trashed but everything is fine if we get money to spend miles and miles away. Chester-le-Street is not here to be relentlessly developed without consideration of the environment and those that live here.”

While planning officers stated best efforts would be made to get the ecology money spent as close to the site as possible, the amendment was rejected. This means the funds will be spent in Sedgefield.

Councillor Martin said: “Our town and its environment is not something to be an afterthought in the planning process.

“We’re not sure yet what industry will occupy these new units, but environmental health needs to be on the ball to protect residents from any potential noise and light pollution.

“However, the new jobs and employment will be welcome on a successful and established industrial estate as long as neighbouring residents are protected.”

Councillor Craig Martin: “I’m here to help businesses compete, thrive and grow.”

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