You may remember these posters up and down the Front Street of Coxhoe in the summer of 2016, and various public meetings regarding the new County Durham Plan.
Extract from Coxhoe Parish Council’s 2017 Formal Response to the County Durham Plan:
“Coxhoe Parish Council formally objects to option c (Sustainable Communities with Central Durham Villages). Our preference would ideally be option d (wider dispersal) or Option b (Sustainable Communities). Our principle reason for this is the feedback we have had from the responses received from the Neighbourhood Plan public meetings. These have endorsed the view that Coxhoe cannot sustain much more development than the 500 houses approved in the last year without losing our village identity, loss of green space around our village, and Coxhoe being merged with Parkhill losing our separate identities and potentially leading to a continuous urban sprawl towards Bowburn, Shincliffe, Elvet and Durham City itself. Parkhill has been linked with Coxhoe for consideration of development proposals and there is a strong risk that the 190 houses approved recently will expand to 600-800, in addition to the 150 recently approved as part of Integra 61. Coxhoe, Parkhill and Bowburn do not have the infrastructure to sustain any further development…..”
Durham County Council took on board the responses from Coxhoe Parish Council, a good number of Coxhoe residents and other Councils including Cassop-cum-Quarrington and proposed option which set out sites all around County Durham for the Government’s required number of houses for County Durham. For our area, other than the sites that currently have planning approval or those pending that meant that there would be no more major development around Coxhoe, Parkhill and Bowburn and our village identities would be retained rather than merging into each other.
One of the final stages of approving the County Durham Plan was an Inspection in Public by an HM Government Planning Inspector which was held earlier in 2020 concluded. The Planning Inspector’s examination in public is almost complete, he has set out a number of main modifications he considers are necessary to make the County Durham Plan sound. These were:
- Changes to Policy 6 on ‘Development of Unallocated Spaces’
- the Northern and Western relief roads should be removed from the Plan
- the corridor of interest for a possible future Barnard Castle relief road should be removed from the Plan
The County Council is inviting comments on the proposed Main Modifications to the County Durham Plan. Details can be found at: http://www.durham.gov.uk/article/21702/County-Durham-Plan-examination-in-public
Have your say online at: https: //durhamcc.objective.co.uk/portal/
The consultation started 26 May and the closing date for comments is 5.00pm on Tuesday 21 July 2020.
As a result of the Inspector’s requested amendments to the County Durham Plan, Coxhoe’s village identity is at risk again.
96% of respondents to the Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan Survey in March 2017 said that they wanted a Settlement Boundary around the edge of the village to restrict housing development. The County Durham Plan proposed by DCC effectively offered that protection. If the Inspectors requested modifications are incorporated that protection will not be as strong.
Coxhoe Parish Council is therefore urgently recommencing work on its Neighbourhood Plan. If you don’t want our village to turn into a town, please respond to the DCC consultation above and support the development of a Coxhoe Neighbourhood Plan. Our Neighbourhood Planning page has more information on how to get involved.