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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A former Premier League footballer has been cleared of raping a woman he met in a nightclub.
72-year-old Arthur Bierton from Thirsk was convicted at Teesside Crown Court of abusing two young girls in the 1980s and 90s.