The economic blueprint for County Durham up to the year 2030 will move a step closer when the Examination in Public begins on 1 October.The County Durham Plan is Durham County Council's vision for the county's future, setting out housing, transport and business developments to ensure the economic growth of the county. Following five rounds of consultation with residents, businesses and other interested parties, the plan was submitted to Government in April 2014.
As part of the statutory process, the next stage is now set to begin with the Government appointed senior inspector, Harold Stephens, overseeing the Examination in Public starting on 1 October. The examination will take the form of a series of meetings where people invited by the inspector, can have their say on specific aspects of the plan raised during the consultation.
Cllr Neil Foster, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said:
"Following extensive consultation with residents and businesses across the county, the plan sets out our shared vision for a vibrant and prosperous County Durham where people want to live, work, invest and visit.
"County Durham, and the wider region, face significant challenges. By ensuring proposals are in place for all of our 12 main towns and our rural areas, we are aiming to ensure economic growth across the county. The plan will build on our work to maximise opportunities for private sector investment, such as that presented by the Hitachi plant in Newton Aycliffe.
"We are already seeing the benefits with increased developer confidence in the county securing 1000 jobs at the new development at Freemans Reach in Durham City, attracting the first new full service bank in the UK for 100 years to Aykley Heads in Durham City delivering 400 new jobs and the imminent start of the new railway station at Horden (Peterlee) to give some of our most deprived areas access to greater employment opportunities. It's a very positive picture but one in which the County Durham Plan is the catalyst.
"With the start of the Examination in Public, we're one step closer to providing the housing, transport links, business development and job opportunities that will create a better and brighter future for the people of County Durham."
As part of the process Jayne Knight will be acting as a programme officer, independently of the council, to facilitate the day-to-day business of the examination. The Examination in Public begins at 10.00am on 1 October at the Riverside Suite at Chester-le-Street Cricket Ground.