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County Durham Plan - what's happened so far?

We consulted on the County Durham Plan up to 8 March 2019. On this page you can see the history of the plan process.

Work restarts on the plan

In summer 2018 we completed the Preferred Options stage of the plan - where you told us what you thought of the plan.

The Preferred Options stage of the plan included a range of policies and proposals to meet the needs of businesses and ensure we get the right homes in the right places. It set out how much development there should be and what that development should look like. This strategy was chosen based on evidence we had gathered, including responses we received from the previous Issues and Options consultation.

Withdrawn version of the plan

The withdrawn version of the plan was submitted in April 2014 and went before an independent planning inspector for an Examination in Public in October 2014.

In February 2015 the Inspector published his interim report stating reasons why he thought the plan could not be adopted.

We believed that the Inspector's report was flawed and following legal advice, we challenged this by submitting a judicial review. As a result, a resolution was reached which saw the Inspector's report quashed and the plan withdrawn.

A new plan

Issues and Options 2016

In June 2016 we consulted on the first stage of the new plan. The Issues and Options document identified a range of issues relevant to the future planning of County Durham, and different options for addressing them. The response to the Issues and Options will inform the preferred options for moving the county forward.

A consultation on the Issues and Options ran for 6 weeks from June 2016 to July 2016, asking questions such as:

  • What will make the area where you live better?
  • Have we identified the right issues?
  • Do we take account of your needs and the needs of your community?

Housing White Paper 2017

In December 2016 we made the difficult decision to pause our preparations for the plan, pending consideration of significant changes introduced through a new Government Housing White Paper.

This set back the timescale for the plan, while we considered the implications and responded to the government's consultation on the 'Housing White Paper' and the subsequent 'Planning for the right homes in the right places' document, which consulted on a standard methodology for calculating local housing need.

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