Policy D1

Policy D1: Land for Residential Development

The following sites as shown on the proposals map are allocated for housing development:

  1. John Street
  2. Main Street USA
  3. The Avenue

Development proposals for housing should:

  1. target occupancy type to rebalance the community towards permanent residents; and
  2. use a style sympathetic to that of existing housing in the local area; and
  3. ensure no adverse impact on the Conservation Areas and the World Heritage Site.

High density design in areas that are characterised by existing higher densities will be supported provided that adequate green and open space is included.

Contributions from conversions of existing buildings into residential use will be supported in principle.

Proposals Map 7: Housing Sites

4.184 Potential sites for residential development are listed in the SHLAA 2018 (Durham County Council, 2018e,f). The Neighbourhood Plan endorses these and in Policy D1 adds other sites that have been identified. Sites that are now under development do not need to be allocated.

4.185 The following notes provide additional information about the sites (shown on Proposals Map 7). The principles to be followed are: (i) target occupants to rebalance the community away from predominantly student accommodation; (ii) include provision for older people wherever feasible; (iii) style to mirror that of existing housing in the local area; and (iv) use high quality design standards. In all cases the sites have been assessed through the Sustainability Appraisal process 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 four heritage policies H1 to H4 of this Plan. The three site allocations 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 D1.2 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 allocated sites so as to provide an appropriate basis for the protection and enhancement of heritage assets. The three possible allocations 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: John Street (anticipated yield 22): approved for apartments; a good site for older people or for young professionals/young couples starting out. Also a single terrace house could be sited as an addition to the end of the terrace next to the Spiritualist Church.
  • D1.2: 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..
  • D1.3: 24 a, b and c The Avenue: (anticipated yield 12): 12 apartments have been approved but not commenced.

4.186 In respect of a further four sites shown on the Proposals Map 7, the intention is they should be allocated in due course if the issues identified below can be resolved:

  • D1.4: Former Shell Garage, A167 (anticipated yield 4): this site is not a formal allocation at this stage because the owner has not declared that it is available, but the aspiration is that it should be allocated in due course. 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; important to keep trees on the boundary of the site; may be costly to develop to deal with underground fuel storage tank.
  • D1.5: Sidegate electricity sub-station (anticipated yield 12): this site is not a formal allocation at this stage because of constraints including 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.
  • D1.6: Council-owned car park, Sidegate (anticipated yield 20): this site is not a formal allocation at this stage because 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.
  • D1.7: Small site next to Sainsbury supermarket on A167 (formerly Pot and Glass Public House) (anticipated yield 2): this site is not a formal allocation at this stage because the owner has not declared that it is available, but the aspiration is that it should be allocated in due course. It is suitable for 1 or 2 family houses, average density 2 storey houses; protect mature black poplar tree.

4.187 To maximise the contribution that these and any other sites make 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.

4.188 In addition to housing sites allocated 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.

Next section: Policy D2: Student Accommodation in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

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