Why have we redrafted the Statement of Community Involvement?

A Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) 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] The SCI was initially published in 2006 but has since been updated in 2012 and 2014. These revisions were largely in response to changing legislation that affected both Local Plan Preparation in 2012 and Development Management publicity procedures in 2014.

View the current Statement of Community Involvement.

As well as responding to legislative changes, the 2012 SCI was written in response to suggestions from residents and Councillors that the document should be made more streamlined, clearer and easier to understand. Despite this attempt, the 2012 and later updated 2014 version is still word heavy. Both the Government and Planning Inspectorate are calling for planning documents to be written in ‘plain English’. This document has been redrafted to be clearer and more concise. Links to webpages, where the information may be subject to change or where the information requires greater explanation have been provided. The document is less dominated by text and less likely to need updating in the future.

In addition to making it easier to read, a Chief Planner letter dated 21 December 2017 stated that new regulations will also require authorities to set out in their SCIs their policies for giving advice or assistance to neighbourhood planning groups. The revised SCI includes a section on neighbourhood planning in the main document and appendix 3 sets out how the Council will publicise neighbourhood plans in more detail.

To prevent the main document becoming too lengthy, 4 appendices include tables which set out the publicity expected for each stage in Local Plan preparation and for each development type in terms of planning application consultation. This approach is easier to reference and use.

Unlike the previous SCIs, the draft SCI also contains a chapter on Planning Compliance. This sets out what the compliance team can investigate and what it cannot. It also sets out the process for investigating breaches and how the compliance team will communicate with the informant throughout the process.

The draft SCI was presented to Members of the Local Plan Working Group (LPWG) on 19 June 2018. Members wanted more clarification in terms of the consultation groups involved in Local Plan production. The previous SCI 2015 included an appendix which set out the specific, general and other consultee bodies. This appendix has now been inserted into the draft document to provide greater explanation.

The SCI is monitored regularly to ensure that it remains in accordance with both legislation and best practice. However, in accordance with regulation [1] , a Local Planning Authority must review its SCI every five years, starting from the date of adoption of the SCI. The style and format of this draft SCI will make the document easier to review in the future.

Please let us know your views on this redrafted document.

1. The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) (Amendment) 2017 Amendment of regulation 10A [back]

Do you agree with the redrafted SCI 2018?

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