Submission Statement of Community Involvement

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1 Introduction

1.1 This document highlights the important role that communities and other key partners play in influencing new plans, policies and planning applications in East Hampshire. It identifies what we, as the planning authority, will do to ensure that everyone in East Hampshire is involved and has the opportunity to 'have their say' in making these decisions.

1.2 We have tried to ensure that the approach to community involvement included within this document truly reflects the needs of people in East Hampshire. Over the past 2 years we have spoken with different groups and asked them how they would like to be involved. We have also tried to identify groups that we do not always manage to reach and to look at ways of trying to engage them more in our work. Gradually we have put together ideas about how we can try and engage people in what we do.

1.3 We have started a list of people who would like to be kept up to date with the new planning process and may also want to be actively involved. This list is constantly being updated as we begin work on new projects and as people become more aware that they can have an input. If at any time you or your organisation would like to be added to this list then please either write to us or send an email to ldf@easthants.gov.uk.

What does this document cover?

1.4 This document covers a number of different issues:

  • Section 2: Sets out what a statement of community involvement is.
  • Section 3: Identifies the benefit of early engagement with people and communities throughout the District.
  • Section 4: Focuses on what documents make up the Local Development Framework. (Further information on this is shown in Appendix 2)
  • Section 5: Explains where the sustainability appraisal fits into the planning process.
  • Section 6: Sets out how, when and who can be involved and the different ways that are available for us to engage with communities. (Further information on this is shown in Appendices 3 and 4)
  • Section 7: Looks at what happens when the consultation is finished and how we can feedback information to you.
  • Section 8: Addresses what resources we have available to undertake this work.
  • Section 9: Looks at how we involve people and communities when we consider planning applications. (This is supplemented by Appendices 5 and 6).
  • Section 10: Explains how we will review the statement of community involvement.

Why are we producing this document now?

1.5 Town planning is changing. New changes in the planning system, made by the Government, mean that there are new ways of thinking about planning documents and about how policies are drawn up to guide new development. At the same time there are new ways of involving the community.

1.6 These changes are designed to deliver plans and policies that are more flexible, reviewed more frequently and help deliver sustainable development. The reforms place a greater emphasis on continuous community involvement throughout the different stages of the planning process. We will need to make sure that all communities within East Hampshire are given the opportunity to have their say and are able to influence future plans and policies.

1.7 Although we have a good track record of trying to involve local communities wherever we can, the new planning system asks us to go one step further. Where we already have good links to our communities, for example through the East Hampshire Community Partnership, then we must build on these. Where there are groups of people who we may have overlooked, or who may find it difficult to get involved, then we must improve the ways to try and talk with them.

1.8 This document helps people to think about how they want to be involved in shaping the long term development of the District through the new planning policy documents, and how they can be involved in planning applications.

1.9 The new planning system has a lot of new and confusing terms. To try and help you understand some of these we have included a glossary at Appendix 1. If there is still some 'jargon' that you do not understand, or seems over complicated, then you can always let us know and we can include it in any future revisions of this document.

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