DETAILED plans for a multi-million pound leisure development in a North-East town – including a nine-screen cinema – will be discussed by councillors before Christmas.

Developer Terrace Hill hopes to receive planning permission for the Feethams Leisure project, in Darlington, which also includes bars, restaurants and an 80-bedroom hotel.

Members of Darlington Borough Council’s planning committee will consider the proposals, with town hall officials likely to recommend that planning permission is granted.

Should approval be given, it is expected that work will begin early next year and open in autumn 2015.

Since the announcement of the mixed-use leisure scheme in November last year, Terrace Hill has worked with the council and local residents to ensure the proposal provides a ‘quality and exciting leisure offer’ for the town for years to come.

Alongside national restaurant operators such as Nando’s, the developer is also welcoming proposals from independent businesses that wish to be located on the prime space and to create a visitor experience that is unique to Darlington.

Duncan McEwan, Terrace Hill’s head of leisure and retail, said: “We have reached a significant milestone in the progress of the planning application.

“For many years, the town has lacked a quality, mixed-use development that provides a first-class leisure offer for locals and those living outside of Darlington.

“We are confident our plans for Feethams Leisure will not only fill this void, but go above and beyond the expectations of visitors.

“Furthermore, should the scheme be approved, Feethams Leisure will become one of Darlington’s largest employment sites with more than 500 jobs created upon completion with additional jobs during the construction phase.

“By establishing a prime leisure destination in the heart of Darlington town centre, we are confident that we can bring positive economic benefits to local people and have a significant effect on Darlington as a whole for many years to come.

“We would like to thank the public for their overwhelming support, and would encourage them to continue to express their views.”

Search for Feethams Leisure on Facebook or follow @FeethamsLeisure on Twitter.

The committee meets at 1.30pm on Wednesday, December 18, at Darlington Town Hall.

Source: The Northern Echo

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