County Durham Plan examination in public
The County Durham Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State for examination in public on 28 June 2019.
The Planning Inspector's examination in public is almost complete - he has now provided his Post Hearing's Advice in which he has set out a number of main modifications he considers are necessary to make the County Durham Plan sound. These main modifications are what we are consulting on at present as outlined below.
You can find more information about the various stages of consultation which have already taken place on our what's happened so far page.
Main Modifications consultation
From Tuesday 26 May 2020, an eight week consultation has begun, in which we are inviting comments on the proposed Main Modifications to the County Durham Plan and the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment.The documents are available below:
- Main Modifications document
- Main Modifications to the Policies Map
- Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment of the Main Modifications
Your comments should only relate to the proposed Main Modifications. There is no need to repeat any previously submitted comments as these have already been considered by the Inspector, nor to submit comments which do not specifically relate to the proposed Main Modifications.
See ourfor more information about the consultation.
Summary of Main Modifications
In the Inspector's Post Hearings advice, he set out several main modifications he considered necessary to make the Plan sound. These were:
- the Northern and Western relief roads should be removed from the Plan
- the corridor of interest for a possible future Barnard Castle relief road should be removed from the Plan
The Post Hearings Advice also refers to a number of main modifications that we have proposed during and following the hearing sessions, mostly in response to action points or questions from the Inspector.
The Inspector considers that they are all necessary in making the Plan sound and effective. There are 194 in total, but most are relatively focussed or just ensure the policies are aligned with national policy. Some of the more significant main modifications proposed include:
- the approach to development on unallocated sites has been made much more flexible than originally set out in the Plan - this is to provide flexibility in case other sites do not come forward and will ensure we meet our housing needs
- older persons housing which is increasing the proportion of accessible and adaptable homes from 10% to 66% on future developments
- amendments to the Aykley Heads proposals to remove reference to ancillary uses (such as hotels) and the reference to the future development of the police playing fields and to limit car parking existing levels
Have your say
We are working to give you are many ways as possible to have you say with this consultation.
- online through our planning consultation portal
- contact us by email or post using our FREEPOST address
- as we can't meet with you face-to-face, we have put arrangements in place to contact us by telephone to discuss the modifications with a member of our team
- contact us to have the information printed and posted to you, or provided in an alternative format
The consultation will open at 8.30am on Tuesday 26 May and the closing date for comments is 5.00pm on Monday 21 July 2020.
What are we doing to ensure that the current restrictions in place for the coronavirus pandemic do not adversely affect the consultation process?
We are proceeding with the consultation in line with government guidance encouraging local authorities to do so, as local plans will be important frameworks to aid economic recovery efforts.
We have taken steps to ensure the consultation is as accessible as possible, given the exceptional circumstance which the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has presented us with, and the planning inspector has approved these.
These include running the consultation over eight weeks rather than six as well as a number of other enhancements to the Statement of Community Involvement.
All responses will be sent to the Inspector, who will use them to inform his final report to sign off the County Durham Plan. Once the Inspector's sign off is achieved, the Plan will be put before Cabinet and then Full Council for adoption. Finally the decision is then subject to a six week judicial review.
About the examination in public
An independent examination of the County Durham Plan is being conducted by the Planning Inspectorate. This is a continuous process running from the date of submission (28 June 2019) through to the receipt of the appointed Planning Inspector's Report. Part of this process has involved hearing sessions where those who are seeking a change to the Plan have had the right to be heard.
William Fieldhouse BA(Hons) MA MRTPI was appointed to conduct the examination to determine whether the Local Plan is sound.
Annette Feeney is the appointed Programme Officer. Annette is not an employee of the council and is assisting the Planning Inspector through the examination. She is responsible for all procedural matters of the examination and any correspondence regarding the examination is via her. The contact details for the Programme Officer are:
Address: Programme Officer, Durham County Council, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL
Telephone: 0777 577 1026
Full details about the examination are contained within the.
The CDP: examination library provides access to all supporting evidence and documentation relating to the Local Plan. All updates about the examination process, including the timetable and available information will be made available via this page.
For regular updates, please also see the Examination latest news area of the planning consultation portal.
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