Mark Dowdall from Banks Group has told a planning meeting his company's proposal for new homes in Durham will provide "outstanding and high quality" homes for families and students.
He said the development would drive economic growth in Durham and new 'executive' homes would attract high-achieving entrepreneurs.
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An investigation has been launched by police after reports two young girls were sexually assaulted in Thornaby.
Sunderland’s new Northern Spire bridge was thrown into the national limelight on Saturday when it featured on Strictly Come Dancing.