A COMMUNITY planning forum which has been coming up with a blueprint to guide city centre development has thanked people for giving their views on proposals.

Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum, which has been developing a plan for the city centre, held a consultation asking people for their views at the end of last year.

The plan covers a range of issues including future housing, employment and community facilities.

Roger Cornwell, chairman of the group, said: “We are very pleased with the responses and want to thank everyone who took the time, and some people took a lot of time, to let us know what they thought. We are reading all the responses very carefully.”

He added: “Durham County Council has come up with some things they are not happy with and we will have to make some changes. We are still looking through this.

“We are hoping the things people care about will stay in the plan. One bone of contention is going to be student accommodation. We have strengthened the policy based on our experience of the interim policy which is something the council are not happy with.”

Members of the forum are now going through responses and hope to submit a revised plan in April, which will be subject to scrutiny by an independent examiner before going to a referendum.

Sue Childs, who is leading a working group looking at the comments, said: “We have been delighted by the overall incredibly positive response to the plan and we can see that people have fully engaged through the breadth and depth of their responses.”