5.1 In order to ensure that the policies of the City of Durham Neighbourhood Plan are achieving the desired outcomes as expressed by local people during consultations, it is important to specify the extent and regularity of monitoring to be carried out. National advice recommends monitoring of “the significant effects” of neighbourhood plans which indicates that it is not necessary for all policies to be regularly monitored and indeed, there will be many policies for which data is not available or require disaggregation from a wider data field. It is also recognised that most of the monitoring will be carried out by the local planning authority or made available at national level. The Identification of indicators and targets is a task that has already been commenced. Creating effective indicators and targets for a full suite of policies is a continuing task in the plan-making process of both this Plan and the County Local Plan. The procedure will be best agreed when both plans are fully aligned toward the conclusion of the plan-making period.
5.2 National advice suggests that “some impacts might warrant local level monitoring”. In Our Neighbourhood this is certainly the case, and the Plan clearly sets out which issues are of greatest concern to local people. The level of expectation that the plan will be effective in achieving major improvements in the quality of future development, not only requires the application of the policies in full, but also the commitment to regular review of these outcomes. Action where these expectations are not achieved will be essential if public trust and support for the Plan and in future planning of Our Neighbourhood is to be maintained.
5.3 As a minimum, there will be a regular monitoring statement of both quantitative (where data is available) and qualitative indicators which seek to demonstrate the extent to which:
- restoration of the balance between development and conservation has been achieved and in particular that concerning the growth of Durham University
- the quality and quantity of public benefit has been delivered as an outcome of new development, and
- the sustainability principles within new development have been effectively applied.
5.4 The means, however, by which the monitoring and subsequent reviews are progressed will be decided by the City of Durham Parish Council as part of its ongoing work on its Plan.
5.5 The general intention of monitoring will be to present regularly, and possibly annually, a clear qualitative and/or quantitative assessment of progress towards a more sustainable City of Durham. This will be a simplified set of indicators based on the 14 elements of Policy S1 to show the extent to which Our Neighbourhood is becoming more or less sustainable as the Plan takes effect in relation to the amount and quality of development. The 14 indicators of change resulting from new development will be:
- Continuing availability of satisfactory mix of sites to meet development needs
- Promotion of economic vitality
- Achievement of developments with harmonious relationships with surroundings
- No loss of heritage assets
- No loss of natural environments
- Efficient use of land, energy, water and building materials
- Re-use of brownfield sites and existing building
- Installation of renewable energy generation
- Avoidance of air, land and water pollution and waste production
- Avoidance of flood risk
- Increasing resilience to climate change
- Improvements in the public realm
- Incorporation of measures to reduce crime, and respect privacy and visual impact on neighbouring properties
- Achievement of high quality access by all modes of sustainable transport
Next section: Appendix A: Description of the Character Areas in the Durham City Conservation Area