Published: Thursday, 7th April 2016
Durham County Council cabinet members were asked this week to agree the way forward for the County Durham Plan, currently in limbo.
This followed the development plan’s withdrawal after a legal challenge to the planning inspector’s interim report which had found the original strategy over-ambitious and flawed.
The original plan proposed a land-use strategy designed to support 30,000 new jobs, more than 31,000 new homes, alterations to the green belt and two new bypasses.
Under this timetable the new plan, which will cover the period up to 2033, should be ready for submission by the end of 2017.
Members were warned that the council faced intervention by ministers if it couldn’t demonstrate a commitment to producing an up to date local plan. Members were also reminded the council risked losing New Homes Bonus payments.
Meanwhile another local plan whose progress had stalled is set to make significant progress now a new inspector has been appointed to examine the development strategy.
Maldon District Council’s local plan was the subject of intervention by the Communities Secretary Greg Clark after an inspector, now retired, said the strategy was unsound mainly on the basis of inadequate provision for the housing needs of gypsies and travellers.
The new inspector will consider all the available written and audio evidence from the initial hearings and will then decide what further evidence and hearings are required.