Durham County Council
Key Project Information
- The client has a number of land interests within County Durham and is an active house builder in the authority. It is therefore a key stakeholder in County Durham’s plan making process. We were instructed to submit representations and to take part in the County Durham Plan examination on behalf of the Client in order to promote its interests.
- In particular, the client wished to ensure that the County Durham Plan was as flexible as possible to allow a variety of development sites to come forward over the plan period. This therefore required our expert teams to understand the policies of the County Durham Plan and the evidence used to justify them. Specifically, a flexible windfall policy was necessary to allow further housing sites to come forward over the plan period.
The solution involved engaging in the plan-making process by submitting representations to the draft County Durham Plan and highlighting where we felt that policies required amending in order that they were consistent with national planning policy and guidance and would allow our client the flexibility required for windfall sites. This focused on the housing supply that the County Durham Plan would provide over the plan period set against its housing requirement and when this housing was forecast to be delivered. This was then assessed against how this relates to the way the plan facilitates windfall sites to add flexibility into the Council’s housing supply.
As the plan progressed, this was followed by the submission of Examination in Public Statements and representing the client at the Examination Hearing Sessions.
Ultimately the Inspector agreed that a more flexible approach to windfall sites was required and suggested an amendment to the corresponding policy. This was then put forward by the Council and was carried through to the adopted County Durham Plan.