Response to Milburngate House site changes

The Durham City Neighbourhood Planing Forum has recently responded to a pre-application consultation letter from DPP. Office-Development-Milburngate-House-NPF-180614

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.

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Response to Consultation on Mountjoy and Church St

The Neighbourhood Planning Forum has sent responses to Durham University on their proposals for Mountjoy (ResponseUniversityConsultationNPF) and to Durham County Council on their suggestions for related changes to Church Street (ProposalForChurchStreetNPFResponse).

The University’s plans for Mountjoy presented in a public consultation at the end of April covered:

  1. the new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science Building, Upper Mountjoy
  2. Hollingside Lane improvements, Upper Mountjoy
  3. South Road Improvements

The Council’s suggestions for Church Street covered pavement widening and reduction in parking spaces.

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Sidegate House Appeal

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
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City of Durham Parish elections

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).

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The AGM of the Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum will be held on Wednesday 21 March 2018, at 6.00 pm, in St Nicholas’ Lower Hall, Market Place, Durham City


  1.  Chair’s welcome and introductory remarks
  2.  Apologies for absence
  3.  Chair’s Annual Report 2017-18
  4.  Treasurer’s Annual Report 2017-18
  5. Questions to Officers
  6. Election of Officers 2018-19 Nominations received:
    1. Chair – Roger Cornwell
    2. Vice Chair – John Ashby
    3. Treasurer – Sue Childs
    4. Secretary – John Lowe
    5. Engagement Officer – Pippa Bell
  7. Update on the Draft Neighbourhood Plan
  8. Any Other Business (to be received by deadline of 15 March)

The AGM will be followed by a monthly wrap up session of the Forum.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the AGM and wrap up session to observe.

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Categorising Responses

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.


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Maiden Castle

Roger Cornwell, the Chair of the Neighbourhood Planning Forum, spoke at the County Planning Committee on Tuesday 6th February. He was speaking against the University’s proposal to extend sporting facilities at Maiden Castle (DM/17/01929/FPA). His presentation is available: Maiden Castle Committee address

The County Planning Committee approved the University’s application for Maiden Castle. As it is large and in the Green Belt, it has to go off to the government to see whether it should be called in, i.e. go to an Inspector.






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Forum Meetings

The Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum will be holding regular meetings as follows:

Weekly business meetings:

  • Every Tuesday, 9am, These will finish at 9.30am at the latest to be followed by a Working Group meeting

Monthly wrap up meetings:

  • Thursday 22 February, 6.00 – 7.00 pm
  • Wednesday 21 March, 6.00 – 7.00 pm
  • Thursday 19 April, 6.00 – 7.00 pm

These meetings will be held at the Miners Hall, Redhills, Durham City.

Forum meetings are open to the public. Working Group meetings are for Forum members only.

Minutes of the Forum and Working Group meetings are available.

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Consultation Responses

The responses to the Durham City Neighbourhood draft Plan consultation are now available for public viewing.

In total we received 397 responses from 235 individual people / groups. Once again, our thanks to everyone who responded.

The Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum is currently analysing the responses leading to amending the draft plan as applicable.

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Thank you

Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum wish to thank everyone who responded to the recent public consultation on their Draft Neighbourhood Plan which was held in November and December last year. The draft Plan is based on the views of the people who live, study, work, or run a business in Durham City and the public consultation provided an opportunity for people to support the Plan policies or to propose amendments to be incorporated in the finished Plan.

Roger Cornwell, Chair of the Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum, said ‘We have been heartened by responses not only from the public but from many statutory bodies, most significantly Durham County Council, who, while they have raised some significant issues, have offered their support and are committed to help us to proceed to the final stages of completing the Plan’.

‘We have been delighted by the overall incredibly positive response to the Plan; and we can see that people have fully engaged through the breadth and depth of their responses’, commented Sue Childs. Sue leads the working group in charge of analysing the responses. She explained that the next task is to collate all the responses and place them in the public domain, then to analyse them and amend the draft plan as applicable. The resulting Neighbourhood Plan will be placed in the public domain on the Neighbourhood Plan’s website. The finished Plan will be sent to a planning inspector, and once passed, becomes a statutory document following a public referendum.

Forum press release 9 January 2018

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