Newton Aycliffe

County Durham 

‘Mark One’ New Town – Designated 19 April 1947

Following a period of decline resulting from the collapse of the coal-mining industry in the area, in 1945 the premises of a Second World War Royal Ordnance factory were handed over to private industry and over 60 firms located to the town. The Government proposed a New Town of 20,000 people (subsequently revised down to 10,000 after protests from Durham County Council), initially to provide housing for the employees of the industrial estate created by the disposal of the Royal Ordnance factory. However, housing expansion and industrial growth were later seen as complementary aims for the future development of the New Town. In 1966 a large extension increased the projected population by 2,000 people. Today Newtown Aycliffe has an important sub-regional economic role as a main town in South Durham.

Key facts:

  • Location: 10 kilometres north of Darlington, 14 kilometres south of Durham.
  • 2011 Census population: 26,633, in 11,462 households.
  • Local authority: Durham County Council.
  • Local Plan status: Prior to 2009, County Durham was a two-tier authority, and Newton Aycliffe fell within Sedgefield Borough. It now lies within the unitary Durham County Council area. The Development Plan is the forthcoming County Durham Plan to 2035. Saved policies from the Sedgefield Borough Local Plan (adopted 1996) are a material consideration.

New Town designation:

  • Designated: 19 April 1947.
  • Designated area: 350 hectares, subsequently expanded to 1,015 hectares and then 1,248 hectares.
  • Intended population: 10,000, later revised to 20,000 and then 45,000 (population at designation: 60).
  • Development Corporation: Designated to accommodate workers in a major industrial estate and to create a South East Durham growth point. The masterplan emphasised the need for a balanced community, providing suitable accommodation for all possible income groups and encouraging interaction between them. The Development Corporation was merged with Peterlee Development Corporation in 1963. Development Corporation wound up 31 March 1988.

Figures taken from Newton Aycliffe ‘5 minute’ fact sheet – TCPA New Towns and Garden Cities, Lessons for Tomorrow research, available here.

Council website:

Information about regeneration:

Newton Aycliffe at 70: 

Photo Credit: Durham County Council