Draft Statement of Community Involvement 2018

Ended on the 27 April 2018
If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.

5. Planning Policy

What is Planning Policy?

5.1 To put it simply, the Council's Planning Policy team is responsible for preparing a range of documents including:

  • The Local Plan, which sets the strategic direction for the district (outside of the SDNPA), allocates land for development and includes a suite of policies to guide development decisions;
  • Supplementary Planning Documents which support policies within the Local Plan by providing guidance on particular subjects;
  • Neighbourhood Plans, which are prepared by communities. These may also allocate land and include policies to guide development at a local level;
  • Community Infrastructure Levy which is a charge that allows local authorities to raise funds from most types of new development in their area to fund essential infrastructure.

Getting involved in Local Plan Making

5.2 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires Local Planning Authorities to prepare Local Plan Documents to set out a vision ("forward planning") for the future development of the District (usually 15-20 years), addressing needs and opportunities in relation to population growth, housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure - as well as a basis for safeguarding the environment, adapting to climate change and securing good design. Local Plan Documents are informed by a wide range of evidence base studies.

5.3 The Council has commenced work on undertaking a review of the Local Plan. The Council is legally required to monitor the effectiveness of the Local Plan and ensure that it is kept up-to-date. Whilst Local Plans cover a minimum plan period of 15 years, changes happen regularly, both nationally and locally. Legislation requires that plans be reviewed at least every five years to ensure that its policies are up-to-date. Your local community can make a contribution to the review of the Local Plan, for instance you can undertake studies of local green spaces to protect, traffic studies and audits of local facilities.

How can you get involved?

5.4 If you are interested in your area and would like to be involved in shaping future planned growth then Local Plan Documents will be relevant to you.

5.5 Planning Policy maintains a 'Consultation Database' of individuals, groups, stakeholders and statutory consultees who we regularly contact on Local Plan matters (that are of interest and relevant to them). You can register your contact details online. If you do not have access to email, please contact us by phone 01730 234102 and we will register your contact details. Your details will not be passed on to third parties and you can request to have your details removed at anytime. This applies to the development of planning policy only and not the determination of planning applications.

Who will the Council consult on Local Plan Documents?

5.6 Government Regulations[1] require us to ensure that certain organisations (known as Specific Consultation Bodies) are consulted at key stages during the preparation of the Local Plan. These include for example neighbouring Councils (through a process called Duty to Cooperate[2]), Town and Parish Councils, Councillors, Environment Agency and utility companies. The full list of consultees is provided in Appendix A.

5.7 In addition to consulting Specific Consultation Bodies, Planning Policy has a further extensive list of organisations, bodies, businesses, consultancies, landowners and individuals that we will consult (known as General Consultation Bodies). Examples of General Consultation bodies are contained within Appendix B.

5.8 The above list is not exhaustive and is amended or added to as required. In some cases, we have a degree of discretion over whether to notify certain general bodies if the topic of the document in question is not likely to be of interest or relevance to that body. We will target consultation towards those most likely to be affected, for example by setting up workshops on particular topics or hosting public exhibitions in areas of site allocation proposals.

5.9 In addition to the 'specific' and 'general' consultation bodies, Planning Policy are committed to involving a wide range of 'other' individuals and organisations, including members of the 'hard to reach' groups. This is to ensure that the Council meets the public sector equality duty (Equality Act 2010), which aims to promote equality, eliminate discrimination and encourage good relations between different groups associated with age, disability, gender/gender reassignment, race, religion and other protected characteristics. Engaging with residents and other stakeholders is key to meeting this duty to better understand the needs of diverse groups.

How will we consult?

5.10 The Government sets out statutory[3] consultation requirements that the Council must follow. In addition to the requirements, Planning Policy will carefully consider options for additional community involvement to ensure that all residents in East Hampshire District are made aware of any planning proposals and of the opportunity to comment on them.

5.11 Local Plan Documents are supported by additional documents (i.e. Sustainability Appraisal and Habitat Regulations Assessments) and technical studies (referred to as the evidence base). The Council will only provide paper copies of the main consultation documents (i.e. the Plan), Sustainability Appraisal[4] and Habitat Regulations for reference purposes at the Council Offices and other deposit locations. All evidence base reports will be publicly available on the Council's website, however should you wish to receive a hard copy of the consultation document and any evidence base document (this will be subject to staff costs of printing, postage and packaging) please contact the Planning Policy team.

Consultation Principles – Planning Policy

5.12 To Inform: Planning Policy will inform people of the planning process and to provide people with the information they need to get involved at the earliest opportunity possible. The following approaches, where relevant will be used to inform people:

5.13 Statutory Requirements:

  • Electronic versions of the consultation documents will be made publicly available on the Council's website
  • Hard copies for reference use will be made available during office hours at the Council Office
  • Hard copies for reference use will be made available at local libraries and deposit locations
  • Statutory Notice in local newspapers
  • Consultation notifications will be sent via email / post

5.14 Additional notification methods that may be used to advertise consultation:

• East Hampshire District Planning Policy Consultation Portal

• Advertised on the front page of the Council's website within the News section

• Consultations will be publicised via social media – Twitter / Facebook

5.15 To Involve: Planning Policy will encourage the active participation of individuals, groups, landowners and developers in the planning process through a variety of techniques such as:

• Public exhibitions

• Council Officers to attend Town / Parish Council meetings

• Workshops

5.16 Planning Policy, wherever possible, undertake these consultation exercises in locations which are accessible to the local community, for example at village / community halls and at a variety of times of day (for example events run from the early afternoon until the evening).

5.17 The Council will continue to develop its Customer Insight intelligence. Customer Insight looks at the different demographic, social and economic groups throughout the District and the best ways of engaging with them e.g. newspapers, letters, social media, website, emails. The use of Customer Insight gives better value for money for our customers, breaks with 'traditional' methods and provides an opportunity to engage more widely than has previously been the case. The benefits of Customer Insight are recognised as part of the Council's Strategy 2014 -2019, which puts the customer at the heart of what the Council is doing.

5.18 To Consult: The local community's statutory right to be consulted and make representations is a legal requirement. Planning Policy intends to do more than just meet the minimum statutory requirements and will also actively promote social inclusion amongst the hard to reach groups. We will understand the needs of different stakeholders and engage and consult using appropriate and relevant consultation methods, making best use of new technologies.

5.19 To Respond: Planning Policy will take account of all responses to consultation and will identify on how views expressed in representations have been incorporated into the Council's decision-making processes.

5.20 Planning Policy will, where appropriate, undertake additional consultation and engagement approaches at various stages of the document preparation process. However, not all methods will be used; they will be tailored to the specific stage, be proportionate to the importance of the document in question and take account of the resources available.

5.21 Table 1 overleaf provides an assessment of consultation methods with regards to their effectiveness. This table also provides useful information to be considered by Developers when undertaking public consultation on draft development proposals and it also provides a source of information for those local communities who wish to prepare Neighbourhood Plans.

Table 1 – Consultation Methods

Consultation Method

Benefits

Limitations

Electronic copy of consultation document and associated documents on the Council's website

Relevant documents will be made available on the Council's website. The Council Offices in addition to local libraries, offer internet access and assistance to those who need it. There are also opportunities to respond to consultations via our online portal, email and using response forms.

  • Not everyone has access to the internet
  • Not everyone is able to use the internet

Hard copies of main consultation documents and any key associated documents for reference use at the Council Offices during office opening hours.

  • Accessible location
  • Inclusive for those who do not have access to the internet or not able to use the internet
  • Easy to read
  • Access to Council Officers for information
  • Restricted opening hours
  • Not able to take documents away

Electronic and hard copies of main consultation document and any key associated documents for reference use at Libraries and other deposit locations.

  • Accessible location
  • Inclusive for those who do not have access to the internet
  • Easy to read
  • Reaches residents on cross boundary issues
  • Restricted opening hours
  • Not able to take documents away

Notification emails / letters to Specific Consultation Bodies upon commencement of consultation.

  • Direct notification
  • Provides accurate information
  • Contact details may have changed that the Council is not aware of

Notification emails / letters to those who are registered on the Council's Planning Policy Consultation Database

  • Direct notification
  • Provides accurate information
  • People can have their contact details removed at any time if they no longer wish to be kept informed
  • Contact details may have changed that the Council is not aware of
  • Not everyone has access to email
  • May not be accessible for those people whose first language is not English
  • May not be the most inclusive method for hard to reach groups

Statutory Notice in local newspapers – the notice will provide details of where and when documents can be inspected. It will also detail how and when to respond to consultation documents

  • Statutory requirement
  • Can reach a wide audience
  • Provides the public with accurate information
  • May not be accessible for those people whose first language is not English
  • May not be the most inclusive method for hard to reach groups

Social media

  • Effective way of reaching hard to reach including youth, people with limited time e.g. business/professional people, working people with families
  • Information can be accessed at anytime during the consultation period.
  • Not everyone has access to the internet or a social media account
  • Difficult to manage posted comments / content

Posters

  • Can be used to publicise consultation information / events.
  • May not be located in places visited by all sectors of the community so not wholly inclusive
  • May not be accessible for those people whose first language is not English

Leaflets

  • Can be used to publicise information/events
  • Provides a useful summary of the main planning proposal
  • Small leaflets are easier to provide in a variety of formats to improve accessibility
  • Limited information
  • May not be accessible for those people whose first language is not English

Public exhibitions

  • Enables people to access information on display boards
  • Provides the opportunity to speak with Council officers for further information / discuss concerns
  • Provides accessibility
  • People can fill out comment forms
  • May not be attended by hard-to-reach groups
  • May not be accessible for those people whose first language is not English
  • Creating and updating displays is expensive and time consuming

Council Officers attending Public Meetings

  • Reaches out to people in the local area
  • Provides the opportunity to speak with Council Officers for further information / discuss concerns
  • Council Officers can understand the views of the public
  • Need to ensure there is sufficient publicity in order to have a good attendance rate to encourage a constructive / meaningful meeting
  • Sometimes there can be too many views to be heard in a limited time frame
  • People may not want to discuss their views in a public forum
  • The loudest voices tend to get heard
  • Not fully inclusive / representative of local community
  • May not be accessible for those people whose first language is not English

[1] Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 [S.I 2012 No. 767]: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ uksi/2012/767/pdfs/uksi_20120767_en.pdf

[2] Duty to Cooperate: The Localism Act (2011) places a legal duty on Local Planning Authorities, County Councils and public bodies to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis on strategic cross boundary matters.

[3] Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 [S.I 2012 No. 767]

[4] Planning Policy will consult the local community on its Sustainability Appraisals and involve key stakeholders such as the Environment Agency, Historic England, and Natural England in its preparation

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
back to top back to top