Developers are seeking consent to demolish a landmark 1960s tower block in the first phase of flagship £150m regeneration scheme.
Multinational giant Carillion has applied for planning permission to knock down Milburngate House to make space for the redevelopment of the crucial Framwelgate Waterside site, next to the River Wear in Durham city centre.
The nine-floor office block, which has been home to the Passport Office and National Savings and Investments (NS&I), could be replaced by a mixed use scheme including offices, shops, restaurants, a cinema or a hotel and luxury apartments.
There would also be a new footbridge and a 450-space basement car park.
It has been strongly rumoured Durham County Council could relocate its headquarters onto the site.
The consortium that has bought the 5.3-acre site is also behind the £27m Freeman’s Reach office development across the river, which will be the new home of Milburngate House’s 1,400 workers.
A consultation on the demolition proposal has begun and runs until Friday, May 15. Further details can be found at durham.gov.uk/planning, using the reference DM/15/01119/FPA.
Council planning officers expect to make a decision by Monday, May 25.
David Freeman, a local county councillor, said it seemed too early to be demolishing the buildings.
“We have been told that it would be a mixed use development of apartments, offices and leisure use but little of the specifics.
“We have to get a development which is right for our city. Durham has a history of developers coming forward with grand visions but the reality has usually been a disappointment.”
Allan Cook, managing director of Arlington Real Estate – part of the consortium, previously said the group had no hard and fast ideas and was genuinely interested in people’s views.
The first planning application for the site’s redevelopment is expected later this year.