Neighbourhood Plan News

Update September 4th 2019

The CcQ Neighbourhood Plan is in the final stages of its development before it is published and made available for what is known as the ‘Pre-Submission’ consultation stage. A Draft of the Plan has already been the subject of a rigorous ‘health check’ by Durham County Council. This has provided useful advice and commentary on the content of the Plan and the policies which are being proposed.

Following this, the Parish Council has been updating the plan based upon that Health Check and met with the Planning Department on the 30th August to review the changes that had been made. This provides important evidence that the Parish Council has engaged the County Council at all stages of the plan’s development.

The Parish has additionally been working with the Planning Department to update and clarify the Local Green Spaces which the Plan will designate and seek to protect from development. Nearly twenty such sites have been identified, and they include John Hare’s Wood, Bowburn Park, and Parkhill Woods, amongst others. The mapping of these sites is nearly complete as are the areas being identified in the Plan as ‘Protected Rural Settings’. These seek to protect the countryside around and between the main settlements of the Parish in order to maintain their rural settings.

Alongside this, the Plan is seeking to ensure the long-term conservation of locally valued heritage assets such as the former Clarence Railway track, the Colliery Winding Building at Crowtrees Local Nature Reserve, and the former school building in Tursdale, amongst other assets. Once again, this work is nearly complete.

Lastly, the Plan is looking to develop policies aimed at achieving better environmental and design standards for new development in the Parish. It is hoped that all remaining work will soon be complete so the Plan can be published.

When this stage is reached, the Parish Council will advertise the start of the six weeks Pre-submission Consultation period, when full details of the policies will be available for scrutiny by all interested parties. This includes the public, other Parish Councils, the County Council, and Developers, as well as organisations such as The Environment Agency, Natural England, The Highways Agency, Northumbrian Water, and many others.

All interested parties will be invited to comment on the Plan, following which changes may be made to it in response to the comments or alternatively reasons given when changes are not made.

The Plan, including any revisions made, will then be submitted to the County Council who will carry out a final Submission Consultation of 6 weeks. The Submission Plan is required to be accompanied by supporting statements, which include a consultation statement; a basic conditions statement; and a map which identifies the area to which the plan relates. The County Council will also commence the process of appointing an independent examiner (in conjunction with the Parish Council) once the Submission consultation is underway.

The examiner’s role is to test whether the Plan meets basic conditions and can therefore proceed to the final referendum stage.

The Parish hopes that the first six weeks consultation period could begin around the beginning of November and end in mid-December 2019. Given the amount of work to complete, this timeframe may have to change to begin in January and end mid-February 2020, with a Referendum undertaken in the Spring.

Updates will be published here when available.

Project Plan Visual as at August 2019

The visual here shows the current situation regarding the construction of the Neighbourhood Plan which it is hoped will be completed during the Summer of 2019.

Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaire 2016/2017

The results of the questionnaire, completed by residents and interested parties are available here: 2016-public-consultation.

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