We are consulting on a revised draft Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) to reflect recent changes to planning regulations.
This includes a requirement to review the SCI every 5 years.
The Statement explains how we intend to involve the community in the preparation and review of local planning policies and the consideration of planning proposals. It aims to make it clear how we will engage at each stage of preparation of a Local Plan or other policy document e.g. supplementary guidance or Masterplans and during the consideration of planning proposals including the pre-application process.
Following approval by Cabinet on 13 June, the Statement has been published for consultation and comment.
Changing demands on the planning process
Planning Portfolio Holder John Philip said: “The Statement is an important document. It sets out our commitment to involving local residents, businesses and other stakeholders in planning processes and decisions, many of which can have far-reaching consequences. The Statement is not new, but it needs to be reviewed every 5 years and we have made some important revisions to reflect the changing demands on the planning process.”
“With infrastructure, businesses and many new homes to be delivered over the next few years, we have taken some particularly important steps to build in extra Planning Implementation stages such as developers having to present their ideas in public forums before the application stage. Town and Parish Councils are also playing an increasing role through Neighbourhood Plans, and we are increasingly using Masterplans to join up planning applications under a broader holistic approach designed to benefit wider areas.”
Openness, transparency and accountability
Councillor Philip added: “Planning is an important part of the democratic process. The Statement sets our commitments to openness, transparency and accountability down in black and white for everyone to see. It is important to anyone with an interest in the future development of our district and I would strongly recommend everyone takes a look at the new draft before the consultation closes.
The 6-week consultation period runs from Monday 1 July until Tuesday 13 August 2019.
The consultation draft can be viewed here:
Comments can be made by:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post to Epping Forest District Council, Planning Policy, Civic Offices, 323 High Street, Epping CM16 4BZ
Paper copies of the consultation document are available to view during normal office hours at the District Council Offices in Epping. The final version of the Statement including potential revisions stemming from consultation comments will be put before the Council for consideration and adoption later this year.