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Examination of the County Durham Minerals and Waste Policies and Allocations document

The council submitted the County Durham Minerals and Waste Policies and Allocations document to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 3 July 2023 for independent examination.

What is the Minerals and Waste Policies and Allocations Document (M&WDPD)?

Once adopted as a Development Plan Document (DPD), the M&WDPD will form part of the statutory development plan for County Durham. Along with the County Durham Plan and any 'made' (adopted) Neighbourhood Plans it will provide the statutory decision-making framework for the determination of all planning applications for minerals and waste development in County Durham. It will also replace all remaining saved policies of the County Durham Minerals Local Plan (CDMLP) which was adopted in December 2000 and the County Durham Waste Local Plan (CDWLP) which was adopted in April 2005.

What is an independent examination?

This is a key stage in the preparation of a DPD. It follows on from consultation undertaken under Regulation 18 and 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 and submission to the Secretary of State. It is a form of a public inquiry where an independent Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, will 'test' the document to see if it meets the requirements of the relevant legislation and to see if it is 'sound'. Soundness is tested by considering whether the document is justified; effective and consistent with national planning policy.

Timeline for the independent examination

On 11 August 2023, the council was provided with information by the appointed inspectors as to the timeline for the examination and a number of other key details were also provided. The provided information is set out in three documents which have been made available on the County Durham Minerals and Waste Policies and Allocations Document Examination - latest news and examination library. These documents are the IDO2 - Inspectors Guidance Notes, IDO3 - Matters Issues and Questions and IDO4 - Provisional Hearings Programme V1 August 2023.

Key stages

  • Publication of Matters, Issues and Questions for the examination occurred on the 11 August 2023.
  • Written responses to the questions within the Matters, Issues and Questions document should be sent to the Programme Officer by Friday 15 September 2023.
  • The examination hearings will be held at Durham Town Hall in the Great Hall. They will open on Tuesday 26 September 2023 at 10.00am. They are scheduled to run for three days until Thursday 28 September 2023. Should it be required, provision will also be made for a contingency day on Thursday 5 October 2023, to be hosted on the council's video conferencing software.

Latest news and examination library

All documents associated with the examination of the Minerals and Waste Policies and Allocations document are available on the County Durham Minerals and Waste Policies and Allocations Document Examination - latest news and examination library web page.

Submission documents

The submission documents can be accessed online electronically at our Customer Access Points and libraries. Printed copies for reference are also available for inspection purposes at the Help Desk at County Hall in Durham City on request.

In accordance with Regulation 22, those who made representations at the Regulation 18 and 19 consultation stages have been notified that the M&WDPD has been submitted and have been informed that all the documents prescribed by the regulations have been made available for inspection at the Help Desk at County Hall in Durham City.

Appointment of Independent Local Plan Inspector

In accordance with section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) G J Fort BA PGDip LLM MCD MRTPI and Luke Fleming BSc (Hons) MRTPI were appointed by the Secretary of State on 6 July to conduct an independent examination of the County Durham Minerals and Waste Policies and Allocations Document to determine whether they are sound and legally compliant.

Appointment of Independent Programme Officer

We have appointed an independent Programme Officer, Annette Feeney, to assist the independent Inspector through the examination. Annette will be responsible for all procedural matters relating to the examination, and all future correspondence with respondents to the Local Plan regarding the independent examination will be through her. This is a continuous process running from the date of submission through to when we receive the appointed Planning Inspector's Report. Part of this process will involve hearing sessions where attendees will have the opportunity to respond to matters raised by the appointed Planning Inspector. The submission of further written material to the examination will be determined by the Inspector.

The independent Programme Officer's contact details are:

  • Email:
  • Telephone: 07775 771026
  • Post: Annette Feeney, Programme Officer, c/o Durham County Council, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL

General information and advice from the Planning Inspectorate

The Planning Inspectorate has also prepared a Procedure Guide for Local Plan Examinations that provides useful guidance on the procedural aspects of examining a local plan. This guide contains a link to guidance Local plans: taking part in examinations updated in November 2022 and is particularly aimed at those taking part in examinations for the first time.

Data privacy

Our  Icon for pdf Privacy notice - spatial policy (PDF, 38.6kb)  tells you what to expect when we collect personal information and your rights in relation to that information.

The Planning Inspectorate provides advice about how the Planning Inspectorate will process any personal information and can be accessed at Planning Inspectorate Customer Privacy Notice. It is very important that you read and consider these notices carefully because they explain how your personal information will be used and stored.

Contact us
Contact Spatial Policy
03000 263 967