Policy S2 – 2019 version

Policy S2: The Requirement for Master Plans

A master plan for all large sites will be required where new development presents issues about the disposition of buildings and traffic within the site or would have a major impact on adjacent areas or would be intrusive in views of the World Heritage site or the surrounding landscape of the City. The master plan will have to be developed through a process of public consultation and set out the overall layout and style of the proposed development, including the main uses to which the site will be put. The master plan will be taken into account as a material planning consideration when applications and variations are being considered.


4.23 The importance of the preparation of a master plan for large sites and that any such master plan should demonstrate the highest standards of sustainability was emphasised in views received during the 2017 pre-submission public consultation. Bearing in mind the historic character of Our Neighbourhood, it is appropriate that a separate policy on master plans (S2) should be included. These need to take account of the World Heritage Site Management Plan and the Conservation Area Appraisals. Large sites require master plans that will ensure avoidance of standard solutions, respect local surroundings, and create the highest quality of design. Master plans will ensure that buildings and spaces are of the right type and in the right place. They will reduce the risk of inappropriate or piecemeal development and protect views to and from the World Heritage Site and its setting. The developer must submit the Master Plan and any subsequent changes to public scrutiny to avoid piecemeal development, and to take full account of representations made. Durham County Council’s Durham City Masterplan Update (October 2016) refers to the Milburngate House site and states that the Council “will work through the planning process to ensure a high quality and sensitive scheme is developed on this exceptional site within view of the World Heritage Site” (p.8). This is precisely the sort of site to which this policy on master plans would apply. Other such sites in Our Neighbourhood are Aykley Heads, Mount Oswald, Mountjoy, Hild/Bede and Elvet Riverside; others might become available in the future.

Next section: Theme 2a: A beautiful and historic city – Heritage

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