Durham County Council has adopted the County Durham Plan on 21 October 2020, following Examination in Public. William Fieldhouse, an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, found that the Plan was sound following the making of a number of Main Modifications. The hearings in the examination process took place between October 2019 and February 2020. The process of consultation into proposed Main Modifications was undertaken during times of restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The County Durham Plan contains policies dealing with a diverse area, which ranges from the World Heritage Site in the centre of Durham to heritage coast, and from areas with a high student population to former mining towns and villages. The Plan releases areas of land from the Green Belt, which wraps tightly around Durham City. The Plan makes allocations for housing and employment uses, as well as providing detailed development management policies.
The County Durham Plan is the culmination of many years of work following withdrawal of the previous plan submitted for examination in 2015.