This covering note forms part of the response from the the Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum.
The Forum is the approved body for preparing a neighbourhood plan for the designated area within Durham City. At the time of designation this was a non-parished area. However, in May 2018 a Parish Council for the same area came into existence and will determine its response to Preferred Options. The comments made by the Forum are separate from and without prejudice to any comments that the City of Durham Parish Council may submit. The Forum welcomes the release of Preferred Options in marking a major step forward in having a County Durham Local Plan. We believe that is essential to have the right development plan in place as soon as possible in order to provide positive guidance for balanced and sustainable development throughout County Durham. Durham City has particular pressures and issues which the Neighbourhood Plan intends to address within the broad principles of the County Durham Local Plan. Our comments on Preferred Options, which we have made via the interactive website, are confined to comparisons with the draft Neighbourhood Plan policies and do not try to cover matters beyond our Neighbourhood Plan boundary. For the avoidance of misunderstanding, it must be made clear that our silence on such matters does not carry approval or disapproval.
The Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum commends the County Council for the quality of the document and on making major improvements to many policies of the Withdrawn County Durham Local Plan.
The DCC’s Preferred Options document can be found here.