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Have your say on parking standards, developer contributions and highway design

Published April 26, 2022 9.16am

Residents can now have their say on a number of key documents which will affect new housing developments in County Durham.

The County Durham Plan, which was adopted in October 2020, sets out our vision for housing, jobs and the environment until 2035, as well as the transport, schools and healthcare to support it. It also provides a framework for new developments and helps to assess planning applications.

Views are being sought on four documents which supplement the plan, including a draft document which sets out our approach to securing developer contributions from new developments.

As some developments can have an impact on existing schools, health services and open spaces, the proposed Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document sets out how we will calculate contributions which must be paid by developers to create or improve existing infrastructure and services in affected communities.

Proposals to improve access

Residents can also have a say on the second draft of a Parking and Accessibility Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) following a consultation last year.

This SPD seeks to provide an appropriate level of parking on all new developments and allows for a variety of modes of transport. It covers what types and amounts of parking a developer should provide. This includes cycle parking, disabled parking and electric vehicles to improve access for all and encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport. It also requires an electric vehicle charge point at all new homes.

A consultation has also launched on a proposed amendment to the Highways Design Guide, which was first adopted in 2014 and sets out requirements for developers and council officers relating to residential roads and pavements.

The proposal aims to discourage people from parking on pavements and will also be included in the authority's revised Residential Amenity Supplementary Planning Document, which is also available for comment.

Offering greater clarity on guidelines 

This document provides details on a range of householder extensions and works, privacy distances and garden dimensions for new built properties which was first adopted in January 2020.  

We are proposing to make some minor changes to the document to include: more clarity on privacy distances to ensure consistency is applied when interpreting the standards; more refined guidance for extensions of single and two-storey rear extensions; more detailed guidance on alterations to roofs; and additional guidance around walls, fences and driveway lengths.

Meeting the needs of all communities

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: "It is important to us that everyone who lives in, works and visits County Durham has their say on our consultations and helps inform our decisions about the future of the county.

"The County Durham Plan and its associated documents aim to meet the needs of all communities across the county, delivering housing and infrastructure where it is needed and ensuring that we provide the best opportunities for our residents. To help us achieve the best possible outcome for everyone, I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation."

Members of the public have until 5pm on Friday 3 June to comment on each of the four consultations.

For more information on each of the documents and to view dates and times of virtual events, visit our Consultations page.


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