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North-east development plan unveiled

Plans to deliver almost 130,000 news homes and increase infrastructure spend in the North-east have been outlined today by communities minister Baroness Andrews.

The revised Regional Spatial Strategy, now known as the North East of England Plan, includes targets for the period until 2021.

It details the construction of 128,900 new homes - 7,600 a year – and focuses on accelerating economic development within the Tyne and Wear and Tees Valley city regions.

Areas including the Tyne River Corridor, the River Wear Corridor, Durham City, South East Northumberland, the Durham and Rural Coalfield areas and East Cleveland have also been identified as key development areas.

About 3,400 ha of land has been identified for new business development.

Baroness Andrews said spending on the region's transport network has risen by 30 per cent over the past five years, from £481 million to £623 million. She said major capital investment will be available for schemes that can deliver on time and on budget.

It is expected major transport studies will be undertaken on congestion levels for the A1 through County Durham and the A19/A66/A174 in Tees Valley.

She added: "This North East Plan sets out a vision for reducing the social and economic gap between the North East and other regions while building upon its distinctive strengths and assets."