Proposals for the mixed-use scheme include executive housing, an education quarter and several new community facilities.
The scheme, which was designed by Banks in support of the County Council’s vision of Durham City acting as a driver of economic growth in the county, will see around 120 people employed on site during the construction.
Banks will make a contribution of £2m for off-site affordable housing in locations that will be decided by Durham County Council, which equates to around 58 new affordable homes being built in the Durham City area.
The firm will pay £250,000 to enable the construction of a new community building at Lowes Barns, and will also make a £75,000 contribution towards the provision of additional classrooms at two local schools, St Oswald’s Church of England and Durham St Margaret’s Primary.
A further £1.8m will also be spent on improving the Howlands Park and Ride service by extending its route, along with improvements to the highway.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, said: “This decision is extremely positive news for both the local area and wider region on many levels, and will directly support Durham County Council’s vision of Durham City acting as a driver of economic growth in the county.”
Dowdall added: “Our vision for Mount Oswald is to create an outstanding, high quality, low density, sustainable new neighbourhood of families and students with a green infrastructure that provides new green links and wildlife habitats and is well connected to public transport.
“It will support Durham University’s drive towards maintaining its position as one of the world’s pre-eminent educational institutions, open up a range of new public open spaces and footpaths for everyone to enjoy, enhance the habitats available to local wildlife, encourage wildlife diversification and enable us to create many new community facilities.”