durham county council largeA major consultation on the County Durham Plan gets underway on 24 June and there are a series of events people can attend to find out more and share their views.

Known as the ‘Issues and Options’ stage of the process, Durham County Council is seeking views on the amount of new development needed for housing, potential job creation and future retail spaces up to the year 2033. The plan will also cover what infrastructure is needed to support these, such as transport, schools and green spaces.

As well as asking how much and what type of development is needed to help local communities, the council is also seeking views on how the development can be best used to grow the economy of the county and promote tourism.

To guide the consultation, the council has suggested four possible options for future housing development. These include one with a focus on the larger towns and particularly

Durham City as the county’s biggest in terms of both population and economy, one with a balance of housing closely matching existing demand and that is near to established employment locations, one where the focus is widened out to the villages surrounding

Durham City and a further option with the development more widely spread across the county.

With each of the options there are different positives and negatives that people responding to the consultation are asked to balance when making their decision. People are also free to suggest a different option of their own.

The options are part of a range of questions that make up the six-week consultation. People are being asked to not only answer as many questions as they feel relevant but suggest any other issues or opportunities that they want the council to consider.

As well as being able to respond online at www.durham.gov.uk/CDP people are also being invited to sessions around the county where they can find out more, talk to officers and ask any questions, and have their views heard. The sessions, which are also listed on the website, take place as follows: