Changes made to Local Plan after consultation feedback
The Darlington Local Plan will be discussed by members of the cabinet next week, with members voting as to whether it will go forward for consideration by full council later this month.
A number of changes have been made to the plan as a result of widespread consultation carried out in 2018 while the Plan was in its draft stage, as well as more recent submissions from people living locally to the proposed Skerningham site in the north of the town.
As a result of feedback, it has been recommended that Springfield Park is removed from the strategic allocation and any reference to an access through Springfield Park to Skerningham be similarly removed.
Furthermore, Springfield Park is proposed to be designated a Local Green Space.
There have also been major changes made to other sites originally proposed in the draft plan as a result of feedback during the consultation.
Blackwell Grange has seen a proposed site replaced with one that has much less impact on Blackwell Grange Hotel and the historic parkland.
Land to the south of High Stell in Middleton St George has also been removed from the Plan.
A number of policies about biodiversity and sustainability have also been amended as a result of direct feedback from environmental groups.
Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “There was an excellent response to the consultation period and wider dialogue around the Local Plan.
“People are passionate about their local area and the wider implications of the plan and the future development of the borough.
“We have taken that feedback on board and made some key changes to the proposals, both in terms of site allocations and our biodiversity policies.
“We appreciate, and share, concerns raised about the environment and the biodiversity of the borough and we have changed a number of policies to ensure we aim for a net gain of biodiversity in the lifetime of the plan.”
The Draft Local Plan received 1,300 comments, from 292 residents/organisations, during consultation.
If the recommendations are accepted by full council, and before the plan is submitted for examination, there will be a final six week period where anyone, an individual or organisation, can comment on the plan as a whole. These comments will be submitted for consideration to the Government Inspector.
“People are passionate about their local area and the wider implications of the plan and the future development of the borough.”
- Councillor Heather Scott