With the exception of the Lidl supermarket, the majority of shops in Houghton le Spring Town Centre are small and meet only day to day needs. As a result, the vast majority of local spending currently goes to stores further afield, including those in Sunderland, Washington and Durham, as well as Gateshead and Newcastle. There is a need for new retail uses which improve the existing range of provision and reduce the need to travel. 


The proposed development would result in a range of benefits for the area. It would:


Enhance the choice of retail and leisure facilities available


Significantly boost the local economy, creating 125 full-time equivalent jobs, as well as construction employment


Reduce the need for local people to travel to meet their retail and leisure needs 


Include improved pedestrian linkages, both across the site and with surrounding areas


Regenerate a longstanding vacant site, on the edge of Houghton le Spring Town Centre


Represent significant investment (£15m) and a visible statement of confidence in the local area


Generate additional visits to exiting shops and services within the town centre 


Incorporate hard and soft landscaping, linking the development to the wider town centre