Food Durham is the County Durham Sustainable Food Partnership, working on the food strategy, growing projects, food procurement and exploring the creation of food hubs.
Durham County Council revised its Open Space Needs Assessment, to establish the quantity and uality of all types of open space across the County, including allotments, and help identify where improvements could be made.
Eighteen communities in the County are working on Neighbourhood Plans – local-level planning documents with real power to affect the way in which neighbourhoods develop. Through them, communities have the opportunity to increase the amount and quality of food-growing spaces. A food accessibility mapping exercise has been undertaken and results will be fed into this process.
Durham County Council’s 2014 plan was withdrawn and work recommenced with consultation on a new County Durham Plan in 2016. The Issues and Options document identified a range of issues relevant to the future planning of County Durham, and different options for addressing them. Food Durham - County Durham's Food Partnership called for the new local plan to include policies on food, food growing and healthy communities.
Food Durham then responded to the Preferred Options in 2018 and supported the ambition to embed health and wellbeing considerations into the plan although access to healthy food was not adequately covered. Whilst there was a policy restricting the proliferation of hot food takeaways, they were concerned that space for food growing was not a requirement of new residential development.
Consultation on the final draft plan took place early 2019 and the policies had moved some way towards addressing healthier communities and access to food.