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Due to essential maintenance, our online payment system will not be unavailable between 1.00pm and 4.00pm on 21 August 2022. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

View our planning policies


Find information on the plans and policies which support the decision making process for planning applications.

Local plans

The County Durham Plan sets out how much new development is needed for job creation, housing and shopping and the infrastructure needed to support these such as transport, schools and green spaces up to the year 2035.

A series of supporting documents are also in place to support planning decisions. Find out more about the Development Plan for County Durham.

Neighbourhood development plans and orders

In the Localism Act 2011, the Government gave local communities the opportunity to develop neighbourhood plans for their local area - to have their say on what new developments are allowed. You can find out more about neighbourhood plans already in place in County Durham, how to set one up and how to get involved at Shaping your neighbourhood - neighbourhood plans.

Town centre masterplans

Masterplans and regeneration frameworks provide detailed planning guidance for the main towns in County Durham. 

They help to set down in more detail how our towns can develop in the future, ensuring that buildings and spaces are of the right type and are in the right place.  

They should complement existing council guidance and documents, and should be taken into account as material planning considerations when applications are being considered.

Commuted sums funding

Affordable housing for business are funds available to build affordable housing in our county. Registered housing providers, developers, community initiatives or other interested parties, are able to access some of these funds through various ways. 

Developer contributions

Education provision

Our Icon for pdf Securing Developer Contributions for Education 2017 (PDF, 290.6kb)  aims to mitigate against pressures placed on school places, as a result of new housing, was approved by our Cabinet in September 2015. Where there is a shortfall in available school places, the following charging schedule (reviewed annually) will apply:  

  • primary = £14,703 per place
  • secondary = £16,554 per place

See also our Planning of Pupil Places document which provides an overview of current and future pupil numbers across the county.

Planning obligations

Planning obligations are a legal agreement between us and a developer, which is negotiated when granting a planning permission and is legally required. It means that developers must build, or financially contribute to, infrastructure or services that are needed to make a specific development acceptable. This can improvements to public open spaces, or road improvements, as well as on-site measures, such as affordable housing.

Find and comment on planning applications to see Section 106 Legal Agreements for developments across the County.

When development takes place, we monitor the progress and ensure that developers pay their financial contributions when relevant triggers are reached. In cases where improvements to outdoor recreation are involved, the financial contributions are ring-fenced for use in the electoral division where the development is taking place. Town and parish councils and local community groups can apply for use of the money. 

Contact us for more information or to apply.

Infrastructure Funding Statement

We are legally required to publish what we have received and spent through developer contributions. The Statement is published annually by 31 December and provides a summary of all financial and non-financial developer contributions relating to Section 106 Legal Agreements within the County.

Habitat Regulations Assessment: Developer Guidance and Requirements in County Durham

Our HRA Developer Guidance and Requirements in County Durham document explains the requirements relating to European Protected Sites. There are nine of these sites in the County and we have a duty for their protection. Development is carefully controlled in these areas and must meet three special tests before it can go ahead.

The document, called 'Draft Habitat Regulations Assessment: Developer Guidance and Requirements in County Durham 2019' can be viewed on the County Durham Plan: evidence base portal.

Contact us
Planning
03000 262 830
Our address is:
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL