The 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
- The SCI –Second Review was approved by Cabinet and adopted on 18 August 2020.
- There is a requirement for the SCI to be reviewed every five years although the Council can review it before then if deemed appropriate.
- The document guides community involvement and consultation undertaken in the preparation of the Local Plan as well as supplementary planning documents and planning applications.
- Some of the changes included in the second review are 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 have been 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 encouraged Local Planning Authorities to undertake an immediate review of 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.
- 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.