The City of Durham Parish Council has decided to extend the deadline for the consultation for its Neighbourhood Plan by a week, from 28 June to 5pm on Friday 5 July.
“We have been very pleased with both the quantity and the quality of the responses received so far” explains Roger Cornwell, who chairs the Parish Council Planning Committee. “But a number of consultee organisations with an interest in various aspects of the Plan have indicated to us that they would appreciate a further week in order to refine their comments.”
The Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan Working Party has agreed to extend the deadline because having these responses should improve the quality of the Neighbourhood Plan, and this is felt to be more important than a strict adherence to the original deadline.
“We would like to thank everybody who has responded so far” adds Roger Cornwell, “and if you have not yet responded you now have a further week to do so.”
You can respond in various ways, including email and an online form. Details are on the Neighbourhood Plan website at http://npf.durhamcity.org.uk/the-plan/ which also includes the text of the Draft Plan and accompanying maps. Printed copies of the Draft Plan are also available to read at the Clayport Library, the Town Hall and County Hall.
The City of Durham Parish Council have submitted a proposal to amend the Durham City Neighbourhood Area boundary, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2017 and the Localism Act 2011. A copy of the proposal can be seen here.
The amendment is being sought to ensure the neighbourhood plan area aligns with the new parish boundary. An area to the north west near Aykley Heads is being removed from the currently designated neighbourhood area, while additional land in Gilesgate to the east of the proposed neighbourhood area is being included. A map of the changes can be viewed here: Boundary Changes Map
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.
This refers to a change to their original plan for the Milburngate House site, with a sixth office block being proposed replacing a whole block of residential apartments. A previous change has been the introduction of a hotel.
The Forum is concerned that the incremental changes now being proposed invalidate the original aims of the development at a site that is, because of its size and sensitive location, the most important development site in the City.
The Forum has sent in a response against the Sidegate House appeal proposals. We support the reasons given by Durham County Council in their refusal letter, and make additional points in this document:
These points cover:
Whether the proposal is inappropriate development in the Green Belt
Whether the proposal would harm the openness of the Green Belt
Whether there are any very special circumstances if the development is considered to be inappropriate in Green Belt terms
Whether here are any other material considerations
Whether the proposal is contrary to Part 9 of the NPPF and to Local Plan Policy E1
The election for the new City of Durham Parish Council will take place on Thursday 3 May 2018. Durham County Council has produced a leaflet to help raise awareness of the new council and it’s election. (Please find attached 43306 RES city of durham parish elections leaflet).
The Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum is working through all the responses to the pre-submission consultation on the draft Neighbourhood Plan. The Forum is categorising the responses and identifying those which raise a planning issue or action that needs to be considered further. These can be seen here.
The categorisation of responses to ‘Theme 4: A City with attractive and affordable places to live’ is now available.