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Statement of Community Involvement approved at Cabinet

Date Published: 19 August 2020

An updated version of Rutland’s Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) has been approved by Rutland County Council’s Cabinet.

Rutland’s SCI sets out how the County Council will engage with local communities when carrying out its planning duties.

A review of Rutland’s SCI has taken place in order to incorporate statutory changes to national planning regulations and ensure that local planning functions can continue to operate despite COVID-19 restrictions. The issues and changes within the SCI include:

  • Legislative changes introduced by government in July 2020
  • Providing further clarity about the purpose and role of the SCI in plan making
  • Using additional means of engaging
  • Engaging those without internet access and who cannot access documentation
  • A focus on electronic responses without preventing the submission of responses by email, letter or paper form
  • Methods of engaging with Parish Councils

There is no legal requirement for Planning Authorities to consult on SCIs. However, Rutland County Council made a commitment to publish its draft SCI and invite feedback from local communities over a four-week period, running from 19 June to 17 July. 

Both the changes to the SCI and feedback gathered as part of the informal consultation were discussed by Rutland’s Growth, Infrastructure and Resources (GIR) Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 13 August. 

“Rutland’s current SCI has been reviewed so that we can update all elements of community engagement in line with changes to national planning laws, as well as to address issues relating to current COVID-19 restrictions. The updated SCI means that we can continue to carry out our planning functions, including processing planning applications and preparing the Local Plan. The proposals within Rutland’s updated SCI are fully in line with recent guidance issued by the Government. The COVID-19 related changes to the SCI are temporary and it will be reviewed again, once current restrictions on movement and contact are lifted The planning process is critical to the long term health and sustainability of local communities. We must be able to discharge our planning functions effectively, even as we continue to deal with COVID-19. The SCI is vital in informing how we do this because it sets the minimum standards for public engagement and involvement in the local planning process.”
Councillor Gordon Brown, Cabinet Member for Planning

The review of the SCI means that Rutland’s ongoing Local Plan review can progress to statutory Regulation 19 consultation and subsequent stages, as approved by Full Council in February 2020 and in accordance with guidance from national government.

Plans are now being finalised for the Regulation 19 consultation on Rutland’s Local Plan, which will take place from 27 August to 9 October 2020. Further information about how to take part in the consultation will be made available shortly.

Anyone without internet access who wants to take part in the consultation will be asked to contact the Council by phone.

The full agenda and reports for Cabinet on Tuesday 18 August can be viewed on our Meetings page. Minutes from the meeting will be published within seven days of the meeting date.

For more information about Rutland’s SCI, please see our Statement of Community Involvement page.

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