Work on this £17m project, approved by Government Office North East (GONE) after Darlington Borough Council's planning committee passed it, could start early 2010. It will provide 300 jobs when completed.
All that remains to be finalised are the conditions of a section 106 planning agreement, which outlines ways the developer can minimise the impact of the mart on people living near to the new market and agricultural centre at Humbleton Farm on the outskirts of Darlington, alongside the A68. Heighington Parish Councillors had earlier expressed misgivings about the size of the development and the visual impact of the site’s biogas heat plant. The plans also include an auction mart, parking and business units on a 50-hectare site.
Stephen Aitken, Managing Director of DFAM, said: “This will mean an end to the weekly disruption caused by the market in the centre of Darlington and will provide a much better service to all our customers and the farming community in general. It will also create employment during the construction phase and 300 full-time jobs when it opens. It’s great news, not just for us as a business, but for the whole community. We will now press ahead with our plans as quickly as possible.”
It is understood that plans for 160 homes opposite The Northern Echo Darlington Arena, a site owned by Darlington Farmers’ Auction Mart (DFAM), have also been passed by GONE. This project will largely fund the Humbleton Farm mart development.
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