West Park Garden Village
Darlington extends to around 120 acres which comprise of 60 acres of the former Darlington Chemical & Insulating Company works and tip with around 60 acres of former farmland.
History of West Park Garden Village
The factory closed in 1992 and the buildings were demolished in 1995. Bussey & Armstrong Projects employed specialist engineers to investigate the factory site and tips.
These extensive tests proved that the tips could be safely reclaimed by re-profiling to form a more natural landscape, whilst at the same time removing existing concrete slabs and foundations from the factory site and replacing with a new clay capping on which development could take place.
Planning permission was granted in 2001 for a mixed use scheme including 700 new homes, a NHS Priority Services Hospital and a new 33 acre park. Reclamation works to the former factory and tip were completed in 2002/3.
All foundations and substructures were removed from the former factory site and development area. The former tip has been re-profiled and 46,000 trees planted to form new parkland.
Following a two year maintenance period and completion of a strict testing and monitoring regime, agreed with the Environmental Agency, West Park opened to the public in June 2005.
An Arts & Education Strategy was implemented in co-operation with Arts Council North and a team of artists including sculptors, artist blacksmiths and a poet were employed to develop the strategy within the park and on each element of the development.
The NHS hospital and first new homes were occupied in 2004, and further planning approvals were granted for a Community Village, Doctors Surgery, Community Hall, Primary School, Children’s Nursery and Community Pub.
The West Park village centre was developed in 2007 providing local amenities including a Primary School, Neighbourhood Café, Dentist, Hair & Beauty Salon and Convenience Store. This is planned to be increased in size to include a Doctors Surgery, further retail units and community facilities.