Theme 1: A City with a Sustainable Future – 2019 version


4.7 Durham City will have developments that meet and balance current needs without limiting or compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. 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.


4.8 To ensure that sites and buildings approved for new development and/or redevelopment, renovation, conversion, extension will be sustainable.


4.9 Sustainable development is the golden thread that runs throughout the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF Chapter 2) and through our Neighbourhood Plan. A key purpose of planning is to promote sustainable development that seeks the achievement of a successful balance among the following three NPPF objectives (para. 8).

4.10 The economic objective is to contribute to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy by ensuring that sufficient land of the right type is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth and innovation that is needed to create the range of jobs needed in future. The best use of the few available sites must be made and in particular counteract the domination in provision of accommodation for students over other established needs. It is also necessary to coordinate development requirements, including the provision of a modern transport and communications infrastructure.

4.11 The social objective is to support strong, vibrant, balanced and healthy communities by meeting the housing needs of present and future generations and by creating a high quality built environment with accessible local services that meet the community’s varied needs to support its health, educational, social and cultural well-being. Given that Durham is a City with a growing student population, we must balance the needs of all residents. The key social sustainability test of any new development in the City is the contribution it makes to general well-being and equity for all.

4.12 The environmental objective is to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment, all of which are particularly rich in Durham City. This objective will include helping to increase biodiversity, using natural resources prudently as we move to a low carbon economy, minimising waste and pollution, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. In Durham City this requires particular attention to building resilience to flooding and safeguarding the high quality of the built and natural environment.


4.13 This justification refers to the Sustainability theme as a whole. Additional, specific justification for an individual policy is given with the policy itself.

4.14 Delivery of this Plan’s sustainability objective requires the application of the highest standards of current best practice. Regard should be had to the most up to date best practice in order to ensure the continued delivery of the sustainability objective. It is important that developers are aware that sustainable development covers the whole process including the justification for the selection of the site, and the design process including the preparation of a master plan for the larger sites. Good practice also includes responsible use of resources in construction and operation and procedures for maintenance, refurbishment and ultimately demolition. There are further requirements for best practice in minimising waste and avoiding air, land and water pollution. In order to meet the special requirements of development in Our Neighbourhood, there is an absolute need for the Planning Authority to make clear that a high level of achievement of each aspect of the development process is required.

Planning Policies and Proposals for Land Use

4.15 The policies related to this theme are:

  • Policy S1: Sustainable Development Requirements of all Development and Re-development Sites Including all New Building, Renovations and Extensions
  • Policy S2: The Requirement for Master Plans

Next section: Policy S1: Sustainable Development Requirements of All Development and Re-development Sites

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