Why are we amending the 2013 Statement of Community Involvement?

What is the Statement of Community Involvement?

A Statement of Community Involvement sets out the opportunities residents and other interested parties have to become involved in planning, ensuring that the Council meets the requirements set out in Government Regulations published in April 2012.[1]

In February 2013, the Council adopted its latest Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), which replaced the initial document published in 2006. The 2013 SCI not only updated the consultation process on Local Plans following changes in legislation, but it was also made more streamlined, clearer and easier to understand in response to suggestions by residents and Councillors.

The Statement of Community Involvement is monitored regularly to ensure that it remains in accordance with both legislation and best practice.

The Proposed Amendments

We carried out a review of the document in 2014. Whilst this review showed that there have been no changes to legislation in relation to local plans, there have been changes to Development Management practice. These concern changes in permitted development and the publicity associated with the prior notification of such applications. It also become apparent that the detail on the publicity requirements for all planning applications could be improved.

Table 1: Publicity on Planning Applications

Taking into account the need for ease, simplicity and clarity it was deemed important to present this information in the form of a table so that public can clearly understand both the statutory and local requirements with regard to notifications.

One column clearly sets out the statutory requirements and the other column explains what the Council will do in addition to this. Some of these additional procedures will be dependent on the size and location of the development, which will be at the discretion of the planning officer/department on receipt of the application. Supporting text to this table explains that these additional procedures have been developed through best practice, taking into account the nature of planning applications and the location of development within the Borough. Most importantly, it states that these procedures reflect resources available to the Council when notifying the public on planning applications.

It is important to note that the information provided in the table does not introduce any new procedures or change any existing ways of notifying the public of the submission of planning applications. The purpose of the table is to formalise these existing procedures to aid transparency. Having these techniques set out so clearly will ensure greater consistency as well as reducing misunderstandings and potential ombudsman complaints.

The review of the SCI also highlighted some additional minor changes required to reflect the Council’s latest position with regard to plan making and to amend any minor spelling and grammatical errors.

All the changes proposed, including the minor amendments, are set out in the tracked changed version of the SCI

Please let us know your views on these by answering the question below.

 

1. Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 [back]

Consultation Question

Do you agree with the amendments to the SCI?

Option Results Count
Yes, agree with all
Yes, partially agree
No, do not agree