The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group has created the Looking Forwards document as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process. A full copy of this document can be found here
What is the Looking Forwards document?
‘Looking Forwards’ is a companion document to the Durham City Neighbourhood Plan and has been developed by the City of Durham Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan Working Party.
It is built on the aspirations and views as expressed by local people for their City during the five years of preparation of the Plan. It looks forward to greater involvement of the community in making Durham a more creative and sustainable City. The initiatives arising from that process have been included in this document, and cover matters that do not primarily relate to the statutory policies of the Plan or its implementation. Although both documents have resulted from the plan making process, it is necessary to separate the two documents as they will be
subject to completely different demands, procedures and timescales.
Why was the Looking Forwards document created?
The justification for the preparation of this document can be found in the vision of the Durham City Neighbourhood Plan which states that “Durham City’s potential as a beautiful historic City will be realised through policy and action” and that it will be “enriched by community engagement in its future”. The Neighbourhood Plan sets out the policies and this document represents a commitment to action to help realise the City’s potential. The aspiration
is that organisations such as the County Council, Parish Council, Durham University, community organisations, grass-roots bodies and individuals should work collaboratively and creatively together.
Many of the suggestions put forward by the public during the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan have no direct bearing on statutory planning and are therefore outside the scope of the policies of the Plan. However, they do have a strong bearing on the future of Our Neighbourhood and they are set out as a series of initiatives under the six themes of the Plan. For an initiative to be included there has to be a discernible and realistic potential for community involvement. It is important that partners in prioritising and progressing the initiatives are confident that, for the most part, the initiatives would be welcomed by the community. Indeed, the vision statement for Theme 6 of the Plan, ‘A City with an Enriched Community Life states:
Durham City will have a proactively supported community life, including health and well-being, with an enriched artistic and cultural life for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. Residents will be supported and encouraged to be active citizens with a keen interest in their neighbourhood and how it develops.