Your views

The consultation on the draft Plan as now closed. However, the Plan is still available for viewing as downloadable pdf files or on the Web

We thank everyone who has sent in a response.

All the responses are now available for public viewing here

The next stage for the Plan is as follows:

  • to analyse the responses and to amend the draft plan as applicable
  • to place the results of this process into the public domain

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Minutes of the Forum meetings and the Working Group meetings are available.

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17 Responses to Your views

  1. Anthony Ewin says:

    I support the Draft Plan. I also endorse the comments of Mike Costello.

    The main planning issue in Durham City is the large number of houses and flats in the city centre being occupied by students and the effect of that on the life of the city and on the residents. The residents have been, and are being, driven out either by being priced out of the market or by the antisocial behaviour of students. For the city to remain a healthy and balanced community long-term residents must be brought back.

    Therefore policies should aim to bring back student houses and HMOs into occupation by long-term residents. If PBSA has this effect then it may not be objectionable provided it does not give rise to antisocial behaviour which affects neighbouring people.

  2. Brendan McKeon says:

    1. Have the old bridleway connecting Park House/St.Cuthbert’s Hospice (at Merryoaks, Nevilles Cross) to Holiday Park at Langley Moor accepted in the Definitive Map of County Dúrham Public Rights of Way.
    This will then provide Durham City with a badly needed Walking/Cycling access route to the west and south-west of the city.

    2. Have the current Right of Way path at Clay Lane (linking Duke of Wellington pub at junction of Lowes Barn and A167, and Margery Lane) widened enabling cycles to share the space with pedestrians.
    This will also permit the proposed new university college at Sheraton House rapid access for pedestrians and cyclists to the centre of the city.

    3. Have the Rights of Way linking Grape Lane (behind The Elm Tree pub on Crossgate) across the disused cemetery (associated with St. Margeret’s Church, Crossgate) to the former St. Margaret’s Vicarage, South St. (and also the entrance at lower South St.) cleaned up and resurfaced (if necessary).
    This will enable the large number of students living in the Neville St./ Crossgate/ Castle Chare to have an alternative to the narrow footpath along Margery Lane when accessing the main university buildings at South St..
    4. Have the current unofficial footpath/cycle path linking the former DLI Museum and the British Rail Car Park through the wood (near the railway line) accepted in the Definitive Map of County Dúrham Public Rights of Way.
    This will nicely connect the current footpath/cycle path from Newton Hall through the Aykley Heads Recreation Ground to the city centre.
    5.We need a comprehensive policy on new cycle paths in the city centre to try and offset the increase in motorcar usage which we now know is coming in the near future.

  3. john spoors says:

    I reject the idea that there is excessive student housing in Durham, the university says that there will only be about 300 extra students over the next few years, and they claim that there is no need for new accommodation.
    I find that hard to compute, as if students move in to the new accommodation, surely as they have stated there will not be a lot of extra students coming to the city, that should mean that some of the hmo’s will be unused, and if the owners want to keep on receiving an income, they will turn to families to rent their homes.

  4. Victoria Ashfield says:

    I have read the comments and they reflect my own views to a very large extent …. BUT …. what is being done about this?

    Is it now too late to be collecting our views about living in a universtiy city which is taking over the city ?Is it too late to do anything about the approval already given to developers to create more unnecessary student accommodation?

    What about the suggestion to turn the county Hospital land into family homes in a green space? Or the need for many more single person homes that are not for students. (This alone might remove some of the homeless from needing to beg on the bridges: I don’t mind them being there. I mind the fact that they are homeless).

    But IS IT TOO LATE? Why are you asking us now and taking no notice of the consultations and meetings which have been held over the last few years?

    • Roger Cornwell says:

      Thanks for your comments.
      Is it too late? While there have been other consultations run by the County Council, this is the first one run by the Neighbourhood Planning Forum, which is an independent body, albeit under the aegis of the County Council. There is currently (till 30 October) a consultation on Student Accommodation and Houses in Multiple Occupation being run by the County Council and I suggest you respond to it. [Note 27 August 2016: the consultation has ended.]Approvals already given Many of these have yet to be built, and they will need building control approval. Recent ones we have seen do not meet current standards for provision for disabled students. And it could also be the case that although they have planning permission they do not have the necessary finance in place.
      County Hospital This was refused by the County Planning Committee and the developers are appealing. Many people are opposing this appeal and you might want to as well. The Neighbourhood Plan can set out what should happen to this site.

  5. Michael Mills says:

    Critical of Council, e.g. their reviews were a waste of time. On North Rd. they were to direct money to freeholders. The proposed Bus St. Would have been worse than present one, no more space and need for reverse! Their priority was to keep themselves occupied and paid.
    Existing Large ‘National Savings’ building by the river, has been much underused for at least a decade; this is a disgrace. Now to be knocked down? – for good reasons? It may be ugly but can we really afford to do this? I believe some cheap patches of bright paints would help and quickly could be used as offices/(rented) accommodation for our aged, youth …. . Durham should not get bigger, become like Granada, Spain beauty surrounded by very thick Concrete.

    • Alan Irving says:

      Schemes of this kind have little to do with community benefit or the rational use of existing resources or even business needs. For example the new Passport Office will actually be less suited to its purpose than the old one. It’s about creating the illusion of wealth through “development”; a euphemism for speculation and leverage – an exercise in financial engineering whose lasting legacy will be unsustainable debt.

      • john spoors says:

        The passport office will keep jobs in the city, why do you think that is not good for the city?
        There was alarm that the jobs would be lost to the area, yet you think it is no use to us, your comment makes no sense.

    • john spoors says:

      Michael, the cost of knocking down Millburngate House is not coming out of council rate payers pockets, so don’t worry.
      As for the bus station, the plans published in the paper was only an idea, they are not going ahead with that.
      As for worrying about Durham getting bigger, it’s about 50 years to late to be concerned about that, Durham used to be much smaller than it is now, that boat has sailed.

  6. Neville Martin says:

    What is good
    I have lived in Durham for over 42 years and seen it develop from the traffic control in the Market Place to its present position today It is a lovely old city with narrow streets lovely river with super walks which needs careful planning, as a heritage site it is unique, but in great danger of being destroyed.

    What is bad
    In great danger of over development, developing more and more outside the city with shopping centres some of which are necessary but any more will destroy the city. We no longer have our own Council or any direct representation: must have at least our own parish council or properly a town council. Decisions taken re development are made by councillors who do not live in the city, and are too often based on over development with no additional infrastructure development, roads becoming impassable at times. Planning department is not fit for purpose e.g. the current mess they are allowing to develop – too many planning applications in for student accommodation, far in excess of university requirements. We need city centre housing not more students. There has to be a limit to University development which they seem to recognise but councillors do not, neither did the planning inspector. New accommodation at Claypath, Kepier, Nevilles Cross, Gilesgate, west end hospital and possibly elsewhere several thousand units while University only require around 500 over next few years.
    If the new units take students out of current housing which has been adapted specifically for students like Providence Row what will happen to this property not now suitable for family use?

    What needs to change
    City needs its own Town Council with its own planning influence not controlled by out of town councillors who seem to want to destroy the city by over and inappropriate development. We have to have tighter control of how development is planned or the city will grind to a halt and the very special nature built up over 100’s of years will be lost.

    Any other issues
    We have lived in the city since 1969 and will die in the city now nearly 85 and cannot do much more and as usual I do not suppose anyone will listen to any comments.

    • Roger Cornwell says:

      Thanks for your views: I have reformatted it slightly to bold up the cross-headings.
      I assure you that the Neighbourhood Planning Forum is listening to all the views expressed and we will do what we can to devise a neighbourhood plan that incorporates as many as possible within the constraints imposed by the overarching Plans and the National Planning Policy Framework.

  7. Ian Spencer says:

    One intention is ‘establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in the City, within a framework set down in the County Durham Plan’. 2 obvious problems:
    1. There is no plan – so, even if the Forum existed, it would have no power or remit.
    2. How would/could a Forum produce a local plan if it fundamentally disagreed with any future County Plans for the City?

    • Roger Cornwell says:

      Thanks for the comments, Ian. To respond (and I hope answer them) in turn:

      1. The Forum does exist: see the Decision Notice under the Documents tab above.
      When we wrote “within a framework set down in the County Durham Plan” this was anticipating that the County Plan would be agreed before the Neighbourhood Plan and would set its context. It now looks as if the Neighbourhood Plan could be completed first, though the situation is very fluid. There is not a complete vacuum as there are existing saved policies from the old City of Durham Local Plan plus the NPPF, the National Planning Policy Framework. The Neighbourhood Plan will have to be consistent with those policies as well as being cognisant of the emerging County Durham Plan. As I write the Cabinet is considering a paper (see http://democracy.durham.gov.uk/documents/s51627/AssessDevelopmentAppendix2PA.pdf) which sets out the official view of which policies carry weight in the present climate.

      2. When the County Durham Plan is finally agreed the Neighbourhood Plan will need to be revised to ensure that it is consistent with it. But that day could be a year away, maybe more, and having a Neighbourhood Plan in place in the interim will provide more certainty when determining planning applications in this part of the City.

      • Ian Spencer says:

        Thank you for the detailed response and particularly for the link to the Cabinet paper – it makes fascinating reading and itself answers many of the questions and concerns I have about planning, especially within the City.
        From reading the Statement it would appear that a council must always consider a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) but it is not necessarily obliged to follow it, particularly if it conflicts with its own – but then it seems that the concepts of prematurity and adoption can muddy things somewhat!
        All in all, one thing seems clear: the sooner the City has an NP available for adoption by the Council the better, so ‘all power to your elbow’.
        I hope to attend the Open Meeting and would encourage anyone reading this to do likewise.

  8. Roger Cornwell says:

    There was an electoral review for County Durham which took evidence which is linked to from that web page. The answer may be there.

    In any case, because you live in High Shincliffe you are in Shincliffe Parish and that Parish Council has been in existence for many many decades. That’s the body that can draw up a neighbourhood plan for the area that you live in, not the Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum.

  9. bill purvis says:

    I live in High Shincliffe, why why have we been transferred to durham south ward?

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