County Durham Plan - what's happened so far
On this page you can see the history of the plan process.
The County Durham Plan was adopted on 21 October 2020.
- Policies map: see County Durham Plan: evidence base, document C2.
- Sustainability report with appendices: see County Durham Plan: evidence base, documents C13 and C14.
- Habitats Regulations report: see County Durham Plan: evidence base, document C16.
The County Durham Plan went through a number of previous stages set out below before being adopted. It is supported by an evidence base, which is available at County Durham Plan: evidence base. Documents submitted to the Inspector after the submission of the Plan and from the Examination in Public are available at Examination Library - Post Submission.
The new Local Plan replaces the Superseded former District Local Plans.
Summary of Main Modifications
The Planning Inspector's examination in public is now complete - he has issued his final report. In the Inspector's final report advice, he set out 178 changes that were needed to make the Plan sound and effective, but most are relatively focussed or just ensure the policies are aligned with national policy. The Inspector's final report is available below:
Main Modifications consultation
An eight week consultation was held which ran from Tuesday 26 May 2020 to Tuesday 21 July 2020, in which comments were invited on the proposed Main Modifications to the County Durham Plan and the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment.
Inspector's Post Hearings advice
Following the completion of examination hearings into the County Durham Plan we received the Inspector's Post Hearings Advice on 20 February 2020. In it he sets out a number of main modifications he considers are necessary to make the plan sound.
These include modifications that we proposed during and following the hearing sessions (most in response to action points or questions from the Inspector). The Inspector considers that they are all necessary to address soundness issues and will be effective in so doing.
To read the Inspector's Post Hearings Advice in full see Inspector supports plan's vision for jobs and housing.
About the examination in public
An independent examination of the County Durham Plan was conducted by the Planning Inspectorate. It was a continuous process running from the date of submission (28 June 2019) through to the receipt of the appointed Planning Inspector's Report on 21 September 2020. Part of this process involved hearing sessions where those who were seeking changes to the Plan 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 was the appointed Programme Officer. Contact
Examination hearings were held between 22 October and 4 December 2019 and on 6 February 2020 at the Glebe Centre, Murton.
Submission of the County Durham Plan
Full Council authorised formal submission of the County Durham Plan and associated submission documentation to the Secretary of State for consideration at public examination, on 19 June 2019. The County Durham Plan will therefore be submitted on 28 June 2019.
In January 2019, we consulted on the Pre-Submission draft of the County Durham Plan. This stage of the plan is the final stage before submission of the plan to the Planning Inspectorate for examination. The plan included a range of policies and proposals to meet the needs of businesses and ensure we get the right homes in the right places. It set out how much development there should be and what that development should look like. This strategy was chosen based on evidence we had gathered, including responses we received from the previous Issues and Options, and Preferred Options consultations. We consulted on the Pre-Submission Draft from 25 January until 8 March 2019.
In summer 2018 we completed the Preferred Options stage of the plan - where you told us what you thought of the plan.
The Preferred Options stage of the plan included a range of policies and proposals to meet the needs of businesses and ensure we get the right homes in the right places. It set out how much development there should be and what that development should look like. This strategy was chosen based on evidence we had gathered, including responses we received from the previous Issues and Options consultation. The consultation on the Preferred Options took place from 22 June to 3 August 2018.
Issues and Options
In June 2016 we consulted on the first stage of the new plan. The Issues and Options document identified a range of issues relevant to the future planning of County Durham, and different options for addressing them. The response to the Issues and Options informed the preferred options for moving the county forward.
A consultation on the Issues and Options ran from 24 June until 5 August 2016, asking questions such as:
- What will make the area where you live better?
- Have we identified the right issues?
- Do we take account of your needs and the needs of your community?