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Buckinghamshire Council makes commitment to involve local people in planning decisions

| December 12, 2021

Buckinghamshire Council is making a commitment to involve local people in planning decisions.

Cabinet Members at Buckinghamshire Council have underlined their commitment to notify and involve local people in its planning policies and decision making.

At a meeting held on Tuesday 7th December 2021, Cabinet Members at Buckinghamshire Council approved the Council’s Statement of Community Involvement, or SCI.  The main aim of the SCI is to make consultation and involvement in planning more transparent, accessible, collaborative, inclusive and consistent.

The SCI sets out how the Council will consult the public and other bodies on how they can get involved in planning issues, including the local plan and planning applications. It explains when, how, and for what reasons the community will be able to participate in planning issues. These include plan making (local plans), Supplementary Planning Documents, neighbourhood plans, planning applications, and planning enforcement.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration at Buckinghamshire Council said: ‘We are keen to make it easier for people to be involved in planning policies and decisions about where they live.

We’ve listened to and acted on the feedback from our public consultation and, by promising to consult on a draft local plan, we are showing our our firm commitment to public participation in shaping our planning policies.

Before becoming a unitary authority, each of the legacy councils had a different statement of community involvement. Now there is a single statement of community involvement for all of Buckinghamshire which goes over and above minimum commitments.

Following a public consultation held earlier in 2021, Buckinghamshire Council has updated the SCI to reflect feedback from the public.

  • Buckinghamshire Council have increased the number of things they will commit to doing when consulting on planning policies and decisions.
  • Buckinghamshire Council will prepare a Neighbour Consultation procedure which will provide detailed guidelines for the use of planning notices, neighbour letters and a range of other measures to increase awareness and inclusion.
  • The way local plans are produced is set to change. Under the proposed Planning White Paper there is no requirement for councils to consult on a draft local plan. However, given the strength of public feeling from the consultation Buckinghamshire Council have included a firm commitment to consult on a draft local plan for Buckinghamshire.

The Statement of Community Involvement will be published on the Buckinghamshire Council website.

*Source of article : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.

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