Mark Dowdall from the Banks Group - the company behind the housing bid - believes that if the housing project goes ahead it will create over 160 jobs in the area.
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Hundreds of people will lose their jobs following a collapse in diesel sales across Europe.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of killing the seven-year-old after she disappeared from her Sunderland home in 1992.
Durham Police say four women and one man have been arrested and two people remain up a tree at the Pont Valley opencast demonstration.