Frequently Asked Questions
During the consultation we will update this page with some frequently asked questions which may be of assistance to you in providing comments or submitting a site for consideration. Questions can be filtered by typing key words in the box below.
What is a Local Plan?
It is a framework for how the whole Borough will develop, making sure the distinctive character of Darlington is preserved whilst enabling development to take place. It includes a vision and objectives for the borough and detailed policies on how they will be achieved. It also has a strategic diagram showing the pattern of development across the Borough, and a policies map showing exactly which policies apply in each location.
What is the purpose of the plan?
This document will have an end date of 2036 and will guide how the town develops by allocating some land for new development and protecting some in its current use. It will give clear guidance and vision which will stimulate inward investment and much needed housing development across the borough as well as including detailed new policies to help determine planning applications and manage developments of all types across the Borough. The plan will replace the Darlington Local Plan 1997, and the Darlington Core Strategy 2011.
Why does Darlington need a new Local Plan?
The Council is required to have an up to date Development Plan for the Borough. Some of Darlington’s current policies are getting old and need refreshing, whilst some topics need totally new policies to ensure we meet the Borough’s future needs in the most sustainable way possible.
We were working on the Making and Growing Places DPD which would have delivered the Core Strategy we adopted in 2011, but it became clear that we couldn’t fit all the new development required into the old strategy. As soon as we realised we need a new strategy, we started work on a single Local Plan that could deliver the development the Borough needs and aspires to by 2036.
That doesn’t mean we are starting again from scratch. A lot of the work on the Core Strategy and the Making and Growing Places is still relevant and will inform the new Local Plan policies. We’re also using it in our Interim Planning Position Statement, which sets out the Council’s position on a number of planning issues.
What is the 'Call for Sites' map?
The Call for Sites map shows the sites which were put forward by land owners, developers and other stakeholders as having potential for delivering housing development over the next 20 years. Inclusion on the map means that the Council has been asked to include these sites in its analysis - it does not confer any status in planning terms. The map was produced following the Local Plan Issues and Scoping consultation held in summer 2016 and has been added to since then. These sites will be assessed for their suitability, availability and developability through the strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (HELAA). This will provide the evidence to determine which sites will subsequently be considered for inclusion as site allocations in the Council’s Local Plan.
I have a site that could be developed. What should I do?
If you have a site which you believe could be used for sustainable development in Darlington, visit our Site Submissions page to find out how to get involved in the Local Plan.
How soon will any development being planned actually happen?
The new Local Plan is for the period from now to 2036. Some of the development, particularly new housing, will need to happen in the next five years. Larger developments and bigger sites are likely to take much longer to get going, especially if new roads, drainage, etc. are needed to open up the land.
I’ve registered on the consultation portal but I cannot login?
- Have you clicked on the activation link in the registration email to activate your account?
- Are you using the correct details?
- Use the forgotten password / username feature if you cannot remember your login details
- Contact us at [email protected] if you are still having difficulties
How do I register and provide comments on the Draft Local Plan?
The Consultation Portal is used to host all Local Plan Consultation content. The Portal homepage can be accessed here:
The following guide provides a brief summary of the two main requirements to partake in the consultation on the Darlington Borough Draft Local Plan.
How to Register:
- Go to the portal - http://darlington-consult.objective.co.uk/portal
- Click ‘Login/Register’
- Click ‘Register’
- Complete Registration form (mandatory fields are marked *) and click ‘OK’
- You should now receive an email with a link you must click the link to confirm your registrations.
How to Comment:
- Once registered and logged in click ‘Read and Comment on Document’
- From the document individual paragraphs or sections can be commented on by clicking the relevant ‘Add Comments’ button.
- A comments form then appears for you to fill in with options to ‘save a draft’ or ‘submit’.
- You can submit as many comments on as many different areas of the plan as you like using this method. (They don’t have to be submitted at the same time).
Where can I view the Draft Local Plan Policies Map?
The Draft Local Plan Policies Map can be viewed and downloaded from our consultation portal. Click this link. Then click the 'Supporting Documents' tab and the Policies map is entitled 'Policies Map FINAL.pdf'
What happens to my comments on the Draft Local Plan?
If you have emailed or written to us, your comments will have been entered onto the Planning Policy Consultation Portal and will be viewable online at http://darlington.objective.co.uk/portal. If you entered your comments online they will have been ready to view from when they were verified by Officers. Officers are currently considering all of the responses made to the Draft Local plan and responding to each of the comment themes. After that, a summary of the comments made, the officer responses, and any resulting recommended changes to the Draft Local Plan will be reported to a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet in July 2019.