Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)

Last updated: 15 October 2021

How you can get involved in the Local Plan

A Local Plan currently goes through several main stages:

  1. Plan preparation
  2. Plan publication stage and submission for examination
  3. Plan examination
  4. Publication of recommendations – Inspector’s report stage
  5. Plan adoption

The council engage with a range of consultees including:

  • national statutory bodies and agencies (e.g. Highways England, Natural England, the Environment Agency, Historic England, etc.)
  • other local authorities (as appropriate)
  • parish and town councils, and Community Boards
  • service providers of all kinds, including the emergency services, utility companies and health providers
  • national organisations such as the National Trust
  • local organisations and societies such as civic amenity groups
  • businesses and economic groups including the Local Enterprise Partnerships
  • environmental stakeholders, e.g. Chilterns Conservation Board, wildlife trusts
  • groups who are less likely to be heard (hard to reach groups), and groups with a specific role in equalities
  • individuals (who have asked to be notified)
  • house builders / agents / landowners / housing associations
  • schools and youth groups

Plan preparation stage

Typically, this stage includes a sequence of engagement exercises, both formal and informal, leading to the preparation of the Plan for the publication stage. There is continuing uncertainty over the reforms envisaged in the Planning White Paper. When we know more we may need to update our commitments here to comply with any changes to the law.

We will:

  • write to consultees to say we intend to produce a Local Plan and invite them to say what issues they think the Plan should cover
  • advertise our intention to produce a Local Plan, including a notification on the council’s website, so that the public and organisations may register their interest
  • use a specific platform online so that people can get involved interactively
  • consult on the entirety of a draft Local Plan. We may do this in stages, for example, consulting on sites separately from development management policies
  • hold engagement events, for example, exhibitions and briefings – face-to-face or online
  • engage with town and parish councils and other stakeholders, for example, through workshops and forums
  • issue information through press releases
  • use social media

We may:

  • prepare Plain English summaries of technical reports
  • create online surveys
  • prepare newsletters, leaflets and response forms, where appropriate

Plan publication stage and submission for examination

At the Publication stage, we will publish the draft Plan and must invite comments on it. We pass these directly to the Planning Inspector for their consideration through the examination process.

We will:

  • publish notification on the Council’s website that the Publication Plan (the version that the Council considers ready for Examination) is being consulted on
  • get in touch directly with consultees to let them know of the proposed Publication Plan
  • invite comments on the Publication Plan for a minimum of six weeks from the date of publishing
  • clearly set out how people and organisations can make valid representations (comments)
  • prepare a consultation statement which sets out how we have taken account of people’s comments during the plan preparation stage in preparing the Publication Plan
  • make all statutory publication documents available, including the consultation statement either electronically and/or in paper form, for inspection at all of the council offices/ hubs
  • make paper copies of the plan document available at the main libraries
  • issue a press release
  • use social media.

We may:

  • produce further publicity such as posters, leaflets or newsletters
  • undertake briefings with town and parish councils and other stakeholders either online or in person

Plan examination stage

We will:

  • get in touch directly with all those who made representations at the Publication stage of the date, time and place of the hearings, and the name of the person appointed to hold the examination
  • at least six weeks before the first hearing, give details on the council’s website and at main council offices of the date, time and place of the hearings and the name of the person appointed to hold the examination
  • make examination documents available on the council’s website

We may:

  • use social media

Publication of recommendations – Inspector’s report stage

We will:

  • make the Inspector’s recommendations report available for inspection at the main council offices and hubs, in libraries and on the council’s website
  • notify all those who requested to be informed of the Inspector’s recommendations report
  • issue a press release

We may:

  • use social media to inform people

Plan adoption stage

This is when we confirm that a development plan document has statutory status and full weight can be given to it in the determination of planning applications and appeals.

We will:

  • make available the Local Plan, Adoption Statement and the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitat Regulation Assessment reports at the main council offices and hubs, in libraries and on the council’s website
  • send a copy of the Adoption Statement directly to those who asked to be notified
  • issue a press release

We may:

  • use social media to inform people that the Local Plan has been adopted