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Alternative vision for Durham's future
CAMPAIGNERS have set out an alternative vision for the future of Durham, aimed at achieving moderate growth and protecting the city’s greenbelt.
As Durham County Council launched the latest consultation on its County Durham Plan (CDP), the Friends of the Durham Green Belt presented The Moderate Growth Alternative, which includes conserving the greenbelt, investing in public transport and building fewer new homes than the council wants.
In a leaflet to be distributed across the city, the Friends ask: ‘Which Future for Durham City?’ While the CDP proposes 5,200 new homes for Durham City by 2030 of which 4,000 would be on greenbelt land, the Friends suggest up to 2,200 – all on brownfield.
The Friends also say proposals should be drawn up for at least one new major student accommodation development, preferably a new Durham University college, and suggest this could be at Milburngate House or the Durham Free School site, in Gilesgate.
They reject the CDP’s proposals for two new bypasses in favour of developing an integrated public transport network, opening one or two more park and ride sites and creating properly functioning cycle lanes.
Their vision also includes the creation of an informal city park linking attractions and destinations in the greenbelt on a circular trail to a city centre trail by a series of radial paths.
The Friends say Durham should “grow within its natural limits as a county town and university and cathedral city”.
Co-ordinator Kirsty Thomas said: “We want to start a debate and give people confidence that it’s not beyond them to take on these serious issues and to respond.
“These are proposals for the future of Durham for the next 20 to 30 years and they are very important.”
Council chiefs say the CDP is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reverse the county’s longstanding economic decline and create 30,000 new jobs by 2030.
Several years in the making, the CDP is out to public consultation from today (Monday, October 14) until December 6. To comment, email: CDPconsultation@durham.gov.uk or write to: FREEPOST Spatial Policy.
The council hopes to adopt the CDP next autumn, following an examination-in-public in July.
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