Policy D1: Land for Residential Development
Proposals for housing development on the following sites, as shown on Proposals Map 7, will be supported:
- Main Street USA
- The Avenue
The conversion of existing buildings for residential use will be supported.
Proposals Map 7: Housing Sites
An interactive version of this map is available at http://maps.durhamcity.org.uk/npf/Proposals_Map_7.php
4.193 Potential sites for residential development are listed in the SHLAA 2018 (Durham County Council, 2018d,e.) (See Apendix C, Table C8). The Neighbourhood Plan endorses these and in Policy D1 identifies two other sites. An Evidence Base note on the process through which the Neighbourhood Plan’s housing sites were identified is available (City of Durham Parish Council, 2020). Sites that are now under development do not need to be identified.
4.194 The following notes provide additional information about the sites (shown on Proposals Map 7). The sites have been assessed through the Sustainability Appraisal process (AECOM, 2019) to ensure that the potential social, economic and environmental impacts including those on known heritage assets has been identified, and additionally to ensure that appropriate mitigation and/or enhancement measures will be applied in accordance with the sustainability policy S1 and the three heritage policies H1 to H3 of this Plan.
4.195 The two site identifed are located within the Durham City Conservation Area and have the potential to adversely impact upon the Conservation Area itself, including its special qualities, distinctiveness and setting. Additionally, the location and visibility of Site D1.1 Main Street USA is likely to also be sensitive in relation to the Durham Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site. Accordingly, it is essential that the Conservation Area Appraisals and the World Heritage Site Management Plan are used in considering residential development proposals for these identified sites so as to provide an appropriate basis for the protection and enhancement of heritage assets. There are other possible identifications and these should similarly be assessed against these policies and protections if housing development applications come forward. The number of housing units given below for each site is indicative and numbers can be greater or fewer depending on how proposals are designed to deal with topographical and landscape issues and requirements.
- D1.1: Main Street USA: (anticipated yield 5): existing space could provide for 5 terraced houses, provided that trees and surrounding woodland are protected and that the right of way that residents and occupants of the Main Street USA offices have from Framwellgate Peth over the land now owned by a developer to get to their properties is retained. The site’s location and visibility make it very sensitive in relation to the paramount consideration of safeguarding the setting of the World Heritage Site when evaluating specific development proposals..
- D1.2: 24 a, b and c The Avenue: (anticipated yield 12): 12 apartments have been approved but not commenced.
4.196 Four sites considered during the development of the Plan cannot be identified in Policy D1 because the following issues need to be resolved:
- Former Shell Garage, A167 (anticipated yield 4): the owner has not declared that it is available. Although approved for 8 units, the surrounding house-style indicates that 4 average to low density 2 storey houses would be more suitable, with access via St Johns Road rather than the A167; it would be important to keep trees on the boundary of the site; and it may be costly to develop to deal with underground fuel storage tank.
- Sidegate electricity sub-station (anticipated yield 12): constraints include the fact that it lies within Flood Risk Zones 2 and 3 and that the existing substation would need to be relocated. If the constraints can be mitigated, it would be suitable for terraced houses matching Sidegate; provided that development proposals protect surrounding trees and woodland habitats and carry out a site-specific flood risk assessment.
- Council-owned car park, Sidegate (anticipated yield 20): the owner has not declared that it is available. It is suitable for two or three rows of terraced houses; provided that development proposals protect surrounding trees and woodland habitats.
- Small site next to Sainsbury supermarket on A167 (formerly Pot and Glass Public House) (anticipated yield 2): the owner has not declared that it is available. It is suitable for 1 or 2 family houses, average density 2 storey houses; it would be desirable to protect the mature black poplar tree.
4.197 To maximise the contribution that any site makes towards appropriate residential developments, high densities will be encouraged in areas that are characterised by existing higher densities, provided that adequate green and open space provision is included. Contributions from conversions of existing buildings into residential uses will also be supported in principle, including residential use of upper floors of retail and commercial premises.
4.198 In addition to housing sites identified in the Neighbourhood Plan, additional houses would become available from small windfall sites. Indeed, any new sites that come forward that have the potential for mixed residential development will be supported in principle subject as always to relevant NPPF, County Durham Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan policies. Although the possibility of redevelopment on the site of Durham Prison in New Elvet has been raised, the Home Office does not envisage closing the Prison in the lifetime of the Plan.
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