Revamped Consett Academy plans approved

Inside the planned Consett Leisure Centre How the planned leisure centre will look

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Councillors in County Durham have approved revamped plans for a £43m education and leisure complex.

The scheme, in Consett, will include a new academy school and leisure centre - both of which will replace ageing existing facilities.

The academy element of the project had attracted opposition from some residents who wanted the development site declared a village green.

Construction work on the Belle Vue site is due to start later this year.

Councillors had already given the development outline planning permission in 2010, but had to consider a scaled down version when the academy's main sponsor - Durham University - pulled out.

Claire Vasey, Durham County Council's cabinet member for children and young people's services, said: "This represents a significant investment in Consett that will bring major long-term benefits to the local community, and in particular to young people.

'Best interests'

"There have been some objections to these proposals and I can reassure all those who raised concerns that they have been debated and discussed at great length.

"The county council has examined the feedback and all issues raised have been thoroughly considered in reaching this decision.

"I would like to urge everyone in the community to show their support for the new academy in the best interests of the pupils, parents and staff."

The approval of the detailed plans means work to re-locate Consett Football Club to a new site at Crookhall can also begin.

Work to improve local rugby club facilities, which will remain on the Belle Vue site, is also planned as part of the development.

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