Introduction from the Member of Parliament for the City of Durham
I am delighted that after many years of hard work from the Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum, and latterly the City of Durham Parish Council, we now have a Neighbourhood Plan for Durham City.
Durham represents a unique set of challenges for a Neighbourhood Plan, as it encompasses housing and commercial areas, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To now be at the point of having a plan for the City is testament to the time and effort of everyone involved in the process of gathering evidence, speaking to the public, businesses and other stakeholders, and putting together policies for the future for the City.
This plan seeks to provide local, detailed planning policies to enable the right development in the right places; to protect the City’s wonderful heritage, as well as protecting vital green spaces, and making sure that the City is accessible and welcoming to residents, visitors and businesses.
There has been a significant level of support from residents and groups in the City towards this Plan, and I hope that everyone who lives, works and spends their leisure time in the City will see the benefits of having a robust Neighbourhood Plan for the whole Parish.
Member of Parliament for the City of Durham
Introduction from the Chair of the Parish Council
Durham is a unique, beautiful, historic City and the challenges involved in devising a Neighbourhood Plan to preserve and enhance those qualities for future generations have been considerable, but I am now pleased to be able to commend and present the City of Durham Neighbourhood Plan.
The idea that the City of Durham should have a Neighbourhood Plan was first floated more than eight years ago, even before the Localism Act which made it possible was passed. It has been a long journey, one with two essential aims.
The first of these is that this is a Plan shaped by the residents of what is now the City of Durham Parish, meeting your hopes and aspirations for the next fifteen years. This has involved extensive consultations, ranging from primary school children to older members of the community, using face-to-face meetings, exhibitions, and an extensive web site. There have now been two formal consultation exercises and the comments made in both have been carefully considered and the Plan now being submitted to the County Council is much improved because of them.
The second is the theme of sustainability that runs like a golden thread through the Plan, to be read alongside every other policy. All new development will contribute to a long-term sustainable future for Durham City by ensuring a balanced relationship among environmental, social and economic outcomes.
When the Parish assumed responsibility for the Neighbourhood Plan in April 2018 it was able to build on the work of a team of dedicated volunteers who had formed the Neighbourhood Planning Forum. Most of these were pleased to join the Parish Working Party set up to complete their work. Their names are listed inside the front cover, and we owe them a debt of gratitude.
Councillor Elizabeth Scott
Chair of the City of Durham Parish Council
Next section: Chapter 1: Introduction