The task of the City of Durham Parish Council (earlier the Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum) was to create a Neighbourhood Plan for Durham City, developed from the views of the local community. This plan:
- established general planning policies for the development and use of land in the City, within a framework set down in the County Durham Plan
- was put out for consultation, once a draft had been written
- was submitted to Durham County Council, once the draft had been rewritten in the light of the consultation responses
- awaits a further consultation to be conducted by Durham County Council
- will be independently examined by a Planning Inspector
- will be put to a referendum of local people for approval
- will be legally adopted, if approved, and used to determine planning applications and guide planning decisions
In this work we were supported by the local planning authority, Durham County Council.
The Localism Act introduced new rights and powers which local communities can use to shape and permit additional new development. In areas with a Town or Parish Council, this work is done by those bodies. Elsewhere a Neighbourhood Planning Forum can be set up, and this is what has happened in Durham City Centre. The application to set up a Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum was approved by the County Council on 16 January 2014 (Decision notice). However, with the setting up of the City of Durham Parish Council on 1st April 2018 responsibility for the Neighbourhood Plan passed to that body and the Forum ceased to exist.
The City of Durham Parish Council submitted a proposal to amend the Durham City Neighbourhood Area boundary, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2017 and the Localism Act 2011. Its purpose was to align the neighbourhood plan area with the new parish boundary.
The consultation ran from Thursday 13th December 2018 until Thursday 31st January 2019, and following support which we understand was unanimous the proposal was approved. Here is the official Decision Notice (which includes a map).