Peterlee Retail Park To Kill Town Centre

31st January 2019

Peterlee Retail Park To Kill Town Centre

Castle Dene is proud to be supporting the Protect Peterlee Town Centre group, which is campaigning to prevent the proposed Peterlee Retail Park from shuttering shops and costing jobs.

Protect Peterlee Town Centre is a group of community representatives, businesses and town centre users that has come together to protect the interests of Peterlee Town Centre and to campaign for its future.


The Threat – Peterlee Retail Park

This edge of town centre scheme with a drive-thru Starbucks and KFC along with three retail units, two of which listed as a replacement Lidl and a Home Bargains (to be relocated from the existing store in the Town Centre), threatens to entice retailers away from the town centre, establish a competing retail destination and drive down trade, costing jobs and emptying shops in the town centre.  It will do this whilst not bringing any new retailers to Peterlee, so not even expanding choice for local people.


Threats to Town Centres

Independently assessed by the Institute of Place Marketing in a 2017 report*, the top four threats to protecting town centres are:

  1. Footfall – a good number of visitors is vital
  2. Accessibility – easy to visit on foot or by vehicle
  3. Retailer representation – a strong mix of national and local, to drive footfall
  4. Construction of out of town centre developments – pulls trade away from designated Town and District Centres



The proposed Peterlee Retail Park brings all of these threats, without bringing any new retailers to Peterlee.

* Cathy Parker, Nikos Ntounis, Steve Millington, Simon Quin, Fernando Rey Castillo-Villar, (2017) “Improving the vitality and viability of the UK High Street by 2020: Identifying priorities and a framework for action”, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 10 Issue: 4, pp.310-348


Our Supporters

Remember: no new retailers have been named by Quora as coming to Peterlee.  There will be no more choice for Peterlee shoppers, only empty shops, less jobs and a failed future.  Asda, Wilko and Costa are amongst the national chains that are also objecting to these proposals and the impacts they will have on retailers and residents. 

The applicants rely heavily on the assumption that the site will function as part of the town centre however the site is clearly edge of centre …

Excerpt Asda Planning Objection, location of Peterlee Retail Park

[Through]”… the creation of .. a second shopping centre, footfall will be diluted and this will place increased pressure on all retailers.

..  this could start a chain reaction of store closures. If any of the anchor stores are included in this trend, the situation could be unrecoverable, resulting in a poorer, less diverse shopping proposition for the people of Peterlee. “

Excerpt Wilko Planning Objection, impact on Town Centre


The ..  acoustic report .. finds that the proposals will have an adverse impact on Noise Sensitive Area[s] ..  The report also finds that during the night, the excesses are above 10dB in all noise sensitive areas, and the initial assessment of impact would therefore be ‘significant[ly] adverse’.

Excerpt Asda Planning Objection, impacts on residents who live near the Retail Park site (“sensitive areas”)


We have … spent over £400k on developing and operating a Costa store in the town for 5 years now. .. . We employ 8 FTE local people in our store and the proposed development taking away an anchor store from the centre we are in will ultimately result in our staff losing their jobs.

Excerpt Costa Planning Objection, impact on business and town centre


Bishop Auckland – A Local Warning

We have also heard from residents in Bishop Auckland who warn of the bleak future that will face Peterlee Town Centre if the retail park proposals are approved.  Durham County Council passed plans for the Bishop Auckland Retail Park (also know as Tindale Retail Park) despite warnings.  This has pulled retailers and customers from the town centre, leading to an exodus of customers.

So drastic is the impact that the county council is having to invest taxpayers money to try jump-starting the town’s regeneration, vital funds that could be used elsewhere rather than in an attempt to “paper over the cracks” of previous poor decisions.

It is a warning we ask you not to ignore.

How Do I Stop It?

It doesn’t have to be this way.  Don’t let Durham County Council make the same mistake again and close our town down.


To comment on the application, quote application reference: DM/18/03002/FPA and contact Durham County Council Planning Officer Colin Harding:

For more information

Why not let us know what you think about the Town Centre, Castle Dene or the planning application.  The more comments we get, the more influence we can have.  Please take your time to contact us via:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 0800 088 4322
  • Or write to us return the form below to Freepost PAGODA. You do not need a stamp.