The Parish Council are in the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan, which is intended to allow local people to have more INFLUENCE over all aspects of Development in their area for the next 20 years. A key focus of the Neighbourhood Plan is Housing Development, although it also covers other issues such as the Environment, the Local Economy, Getting Around (Roads, Paths & Public Transport), and Well-being and Leisure.

It is very important that the Middridge Neighbourhood Plan reflects the views of local Residents. Accordingly, a Parish Survey was conducted some while ago, and recently all Residents will have received a Housing Questionnaire.

HOWEVER, it is important to note that under Government Legislation, the Neighbourhood Plan MUST be in conformance with the Durham County Council Local Plan. At present this remains the old Sedgefield Borough Plan, but this is out-of-date, and is in the process of being replaced by a new County Plan.

NOTE – unfortunately any Objections lodged against the previous Draft County Plan are no longer valid. Consequently, when the new Draft version of the County Plan is published shortly, if there is any aspect which you do not like i.e. the proposed Housing Development at “Eldon Whins” (if this is still included), it is important that you take the new opportunities to object AGAIN during the Public Consultation on the Draft County Plan, and its subsequent Review by a Government Inspector.

Once the Draft Neighbourhood Plan is sufficiently advanced, a Link we will provided so you can view or download the Plan.

Ultimately the Draft Neighbourhood Plan has to be approved by Durham County Council, and then all Residents will have an opportunity to vote on it in a Parish Referendum. If the Plan is approved by this Referendum, it is then adopted, and carries legal weight when Planning Decisions are made.

The Neighbourhood Plan is being developed by a Working Group, composed of the Parish Council and interested Residents. If you would like to know more, or are interested in joining the Working Group, please contact any Parish Councillor or the Clerk to the Council (Alan Jordan) – see the Parish Council/Members Web-page for Contact Details.