Local Plan Examination

The Darlington Local Plan 2016-2036 was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination on 22 December 2020.

Information the Local Plan Examination process, timetable and other relevant information are available to view on this page.  It will appear in date order, with the most recent information provided first.

Local Plan Adoption - 17 February 2022

In accordance with the 2012 Regulations the following documents have been made available as soon as practicable:

The Darlington Borough Local Plan 2016 – 2036 [pdf document]

The Adoption Statement [pdf document], and 

The Sustainability Appraisal Report [pdf document] and Sustainability Appraisal Addendum [pdf document]

A copy of the Policies Map [pdf document] to accompany the Darlington Borough Local Plan 2016 - 2036 is also available. 

Local Plan Inspector's Report and Modifications

Following an independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate of the Darlington Local Plan 2016 – 2036, the council received the Inspector's report on 28 January 2022. The appointed Inspector, Mr William Fieldhouse BA (Hons) MA MRTPI, concluded that with the recommended main modifications (consulted on between 19 October and 30 November 2021), the Darlington Local Plan 2016 - 2036 was sound and compliant with the legal requirements. The report can be viewed here:

Inspector's Report

Inspector's Report DBLP [pdf document]

Inspector's Report DBLP Appendix - Main Modifications [pdf document]

Additional Modifications

Minor Modifications Schedule [pdf document]

Policies Map Modifications Schedule [pdf document]

Adoption of the Local Plan

The conclusions of the Inspector's report means that the council could proceed towards adoption of the Local Plan. This was considered by Cabinet on 8 February 2022 and Full Council on 17 February 2022.  Agendas and papers can be viewed here.


Planning Inspector

William Fieldhouse BA (Hons) MA MRTPI was appointed by the Secretary of State on 4 January 2021 to conduct an independent examination of the Local Plan.

Programme Officer

The Programme Officer for the Darlington Local Plan examination is no longer available.  If you have an enquiry please contact Planning Policy directly on (01325) 406724 or [email protected]

Updates by date

View the updates in date order


Consultation on Proposed Main Modifications

Consultation on the proposed main modifications, changes to the policies map, and updates to the sustainability appraisal and habitat regulations assessment was carried out between 19 October and 30 November 2021.  All of the representations have been published (as PD08), along with the Council’s summary of the main issues raised and its responses (as requested by the Inspector).  The Inspector considered all of the representations, and the Council’s responses, before finalising his report. Unless the Inspector considered it essential to deal with substantial issues raised in representations about the proposed main modifications, or to ensure fairness, no further hearing sessions would need to be held.  No further representations about the modifications, or other parts of the Plan, could be accepted.

Hearing sessions

Examination hearing sessions were held between 25 May and 24 June 2021.

A further hearing session was held on Tuesday 7 September 2021 to consider some of the Council’s responses to action points and some of its proposed main modifications.

Agendas and participant lists

Due to coronavirus legislation and restrictions, and the related capacity issues at Darlington Town Hall, the hearing sessions were virtually using Microsoft Teams. All of the sessions were broadcast on YouTube.

The dates on which each matter were discussed, and participants for each session, is set out in Inspector’s Note No. 4 was published in early April.

Examination documents

Inspector's examination documents

Council's examination documents

Other examination documents

Hearing Statements

Matter 1 - Legal, procedural and general matters

Matter 2 - Amount of development needed in the Borough

Matter 3 - Visions, aims, objectives and spatial strategy

Matter 4 - Housing development

Matter 5 - Meeting particular housing needs

Matter 6 - Gypsy and traveller accommodation

Darlington Borough Council M6 [pdf document]

Matter 7 - Economic development

Matter 8 - Town centres and retail development

Matter 9 - Transport and other infrastructure

Matter 10 - Other strategic and development management policies

Matter 11 - Other issues

Statements for Further Supplementary Questions - August 2021

Core documents (CD)

Procedural documents (PD)

Council topic papers

Supporting documents (SD)

SD01 One Darlington: Perfectly Placed. Sustainable Community Strategy for Darlington (2008-2026) (Amended 2014) [pdf document]

Design, climate change and construction


Employment for economic growth

Town centre and retail


Transport and infrastructure

Adopted local plan documents (LP)

Privacy notice

The Privacy Notice [external link] for the Local Plan.