PEOPLE are being encouraged to help shape the future of their county before the consultation on the County Durham Plan closes next week.

The consultation is seeking people’s views on the “Preferred Option” stage of the plan, which sets out potential development across the county until 2035. The County Durham Plan provides a vision for future housing, jobs and the environment as well as the transport, schools and healthcare to support it.

Since the consultation began a number of events have been carried out across County Durham but people can still find out about the plan and comment online at until 4:30pm on Friday.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The response so far has been brilliant and we’ve received comments and suggestions from right across the county. But we’d urge anyone who has yet to get involved to go online and let us know what they think before the deadline. The plan will shape our county’s future so it’s incredibly important that people take part in this consultation.”

The Preferred Option of the County Durham Plan is based on evidence about the county alongside opportunities and challenges identified by residents and businesses during the previous consultation.

Once the current consultation is completed, the responses will be used to create the next draft of the plan, known as the Pre-Submission Draft. The public will then get the chance to comment on the proposals again before that plan, and any further comments, are submitted to an independent examiner who will decide whether the plan can be adopted.