County Durham residents are being encouraged to have their say on housing, the environment and parking accessibility.

Durham County Council has begun three consultations, on houses in multiple occupation in Durham City, minerals and waste development and parking and accessibility.

The first consultation will seek views on a proposed Article 4 Direction for the Mount Oswald, Carville and Belmont areas.

It follows evidence of student households, which are usually households of multiple occupation, in these areas, alongside concerns being raised by residents regarding the impact of households of multiple occupation. There is also a planned increase in student numbers as part of Durham University’s future strategy.

The Article 4 Direction would mean that any change from a family home to a house in multiple occupation would require planning permission and should it be confirmed following consultation, it would adjoin the existing Durham City Article 4 Direction and come into force on 14 January 2022.

In addition to commenting on the proposals, residents can also register to attend an online event for further information on the Article 4 Direction. These will take place from 10.30am to 11.30am on Tuesday, 2 February and at 7pm on Wednesday, 10 February.

The latter two consultations relate to the County Durham Plan, which was adopted by the council in October last year.

As part of the plan, the council made a commitment to begin preparing a minerals and waste policies and allocations development plan and the consultation is seeking comments on its notice of intent to prepare the plan.

This will explain its views on the Minerals and Waste Policies Allocation as well as how it will be used to make decisions on planning applications for future minerals and waste management in County Durham. Residents can comment via the council’s website.

The final consultation seeks views on parking and accessibility requirements when assessing planning applications.

This follows the council’s commitment to introduce a Parking and Accessibility Supplementary Document, which was also referenced in the County Durham Plan and will support the delivery of sustainable transport.

The document would replace the Parking and Accessibility Standards 2019 and this is the first of two consultations on it, with this consultation covering issues such as: general accessibility of developments; accessibility for those with mobility issues; parking requirements at new residential developments and extended homes; accessibility of and parking requirements at destinations including places of work, retail and leisure; and, requirements for electric vehicle and cycle parking.

Online events are also being held for this consultation from 9.30am to 10.30am on Tuesday, 2 February and 6pm until 7pm on Wednesday, 10 February.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “It is really important that everyone who lives or works in County Durham is given the chance to improve the services that we provide and influence the outcome of our decisions.

“The County Durham Plan, which will ensure the county is a successful place to live, work, invest and visit is helping to guide our future developments so we want to hear from as many people as possible about the best way to move forward with those. I would therefore encourage everyone to take the time to look at these consultations and have their say.”

All three consultations will close at 5pm on Friday, 26 February.

For more information on each consultation, to register to attend an online event and to make a comment on the consultations, residents should visit: www.durham.gov.uk/consultation