he Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) sets out how the Council will involve the community in preparing planning documents in Rutland. It also covers how the community will be engaged in development proposals, particularly when a planning application is made.
SCI - second review
- Rutland’s SCI was last updated in 2014 and is in need of review. There is a requirement for this to be reviewed every five years although the Council can review before then if deemed appropriate.
- The document has guided community involvement and consultation already undertaken in the preparation of the Local Plan as well as supplementary planning documents and planning applications.
- It was intended to consult on a review of the SCI following the statutory consultation on the Proposed Submission Local Plan approved by Council in February 2020. We know that there are some areas where an update is required, for instance related to consultation on planning applications and the Council’s role in providing advice and guidance on neighbourhood planning.
- The statutory consultation on the Local Plan, often referred to as the Regulation 19 consultation, was postponed in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changes in response to COVID-19 pandemic
- Some of the proposed changes included in this review will be temporary, in response to COVID-19 safety guidelines which have affected all aspects of the Council’s planning functions. In particular they have affected the ability to make documents available in public places including local libraries, hold exhibitions, circulate leaflets, attend forums or meetings and the submission of paper based representations as well as the ability for people and groups to meet together to prepare joint responses to applications and planning documents.
- To address this, changes need to be made to the SCI which will enable the planning process to progress with a focus on electronic and web based formats as recommended by the Government.
- The Government is now encouraging Local Planning Authorities to undertake an immediate review if their SCI so that plan-making can continue. Government advice states:
"The local planning authority should then make any temporary amendments that are necessary to allow plan-making to progress, and that continue to promote effective community engagement by means which are reasonably practicable. Local planning authorities are strongly encouraged to use online engagement methods to their full potential.”
Changes relating to the minimum requirements for Local Plan consultation set out in Appendix 1 reflect Government advice issued on 13 May 2020. These are temporary changes which will be reviewed by the Council when it is considered appropriate to do so.
Proposed Changes to the SCI
- The Secretary of State has highlighted that the planning system is at the heart of the delivery of the housing and economic growth that will support the UK’s economic recovery. It is important that the system continues to operate effectively, ensuring that all those involved, including local authorities, the Planning Inspectorate, developers, statutory consultees, local communities and others can engage in the process while adhering to the Government’s guidance on social distancing.
- We are now consulting on the proposed changes to the SCI which reflect national policy and the latest COVID-19 guidance and local practicalities for implementing this guidance. The proposed changes are clearly indicated in the SCI Second document.
Public Consultation 2020
- The Consultation has now closed. This consultation took place between Friday 19 June 2020 for 4 weeks, and 4.30pm on Friday 17 July 2020. Responses received after this date will not be considered. The consultation document can be accessed below. Please note there are two versions of this. One which highlights the changes that we propose and the other which includes the changes within the text.
- The Council will consider consultation responses and whether there is a need to make changes to the document. Once the SCI is adopted, it will be used to guide future consultations on planning policy documents and major development proposals.
Adopted Statement of Community Involvement (First Review)
The Councils current Statement of community involvement was published in 2014. View the document using the below link.