PLANS to build 24 retirement bungalows on the site of a former swimming pool have been submitted.

A planning application to develop the former Belle Vue Swim Centre site, in Consett, has been compiled by Karbon Homes on behalf of Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association.

If approved by the planning committee at Durham County Council, work on the £3.5 million scheme is expected to start in December, or early January, and take 18 months to complete.

By late summer 2020, the social landlord hopes the two-bedroom bungalows will be ready for rental.

Paul Mullis, chief executive of Durham Aged Mineworkers Homes Association, said: “We provide homes exclusively for older people and the average age of our residents is over 70.

“Being near to facilities and having easy access to things is important, as is location.

“The development is on a bus route and there is access to the new shops on Genesis Way.”

The demolition of Belle Vue Swim Centre got underway in April 2016 following the closure of the facility in summer the year before.

Durham County Council said the site had been earmarked for housing to form part of the funding package required for the new multi million pound academy and leisure centre.

The school and sports centre now stand on the former offices of Derwentside District Council and Belle Vue Leisure Centre.

In April this year, plans for a housing development on the former Consett Magistrates’ Court building nearby were approved, despite concerns from councillors over road safety.

Homes England, formerly the Homes and Community Agency, has outline planning permission for 20 houses on site following the closure of the courthouse in July 2016.

Mr Mullis said: “There are other developments in the area and Consett is an up and coming area that is doing well.

“It is good to provide to homes in places where there are growing populations and an elderly element.

“Consett is a mini boom town, in a County Durham context, and it is good to be part of that.”

A design and access statement has been produced by chartered architect Anthony Watson to explain the plans for the development on Ashdale Road.

It said: “As well as providing good quality homes, this development will undoubtedly provide a range of economic benefits.

“The development of the site will provide construction jobs in the area and will also provide new custom for businesses.”