Objectors’ have now submitted their case and evidence to the Planning Inspectorate over the issue of Durham County Council’s application to de-register the coach park at the Sands as common land. A full copy of this can be found here: https://sands.durhamcity.org.uk/Evidence.pdf
Earlier this year, the Planning Inspectorate announced that a full public inquiry will be held on 27th April 2021 in order to determine the application.
In 2019, the County Council applied to the Planning Inspectorate to have the site de-registered as common land in order to create a new controlled car parking facility for elected Members in order to support the new County Headquarters building.
The Planning Inspectorate had originally advised that they were satisfied to proceed to determine the application without the need for a public inquiry or hearing. However, following legal representation from the Durham City Freemen and the City of Durham Parish Council, the Planning Inspectorate last year decided that a public inquiry is now necessary.
The Chair of the Parish Council Councillor Elizabeth Scott said: “The County Council’s application to have the land de-registered has been extremely contentious, of more than local significance and has attracted widespread objections. The fact that the County Council and their developer Kier have fenced off our common land, unlawfully interfered with the public’s rights to the common and shown a total disregard for the health and future of the trees in this area is completely shameful. We look forward to putting our full case to the Planning Inspectorate at the public inquiry in April.”