Town Centre Strategy and Masterplan

Work has started on the Riverside Park at the Feethams Riverside. For more information please visit Feethams Riverside Scheme page

The Local Plan identifies the Town Centre Fringe as the third priority location for development and regeneration within the Borough, and significant development activity started in 2016. The Fringe is an extensive area: over 70ha of land, buildings and roads, much of which is underused. It contains a mix of employment, residential, retail, leisure, car parking and other uses, and much of area’s housing is occupied by deprived households. The area of the Town Centre Fringe as identified in the Making and Growing Places DPD is more limited than the Council’s wider Town Centre Fringe Masterplan area, this is made reference to in the Further Information section of this document.

The Fringe has a lot going for it - easy to get to by several modes of transport, close to the Town Centre, containing key buildings like the Civic Theatre and Bank Top Railway Station and other heritage assets, and with the River Skerne flowing through it. It is also very visible, from local roads and the east coast main line. The Core Strategy recognised the potential of the area, identifying it for 650 new homes, 17ha of general and mixed use employment, and an extension to Darlington Town Centre when it is needed. The River Skerne was also identified as a strategic green infrastructure corridor. However before the potential of the area to contribute much more to the growth, prosperity and quality of life of Darlington can be realised, there are significant issues to overcome, such as managing flood risk, changing the image of the area, tackling contamination and hazard, and improving connectivity across the inner ring road. Considering the area comprehensively provides the best way to ensure that both public and private investment is made effectively and in a timely and co-ordinated manner.

Further information on the Town Centre Fringe Masterplan, agreed by Cabinet in April 2013 can be seen within Item 10 of the following cabinet paper.

At the Cabinet in April 2013, the Council also agreed a Conservation Management Plan for the Town Centre Fringe.