Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)
Planning for the future of your Neighbourhood
Neighbourhood Planning gives communities the ability to shape their local area and enables them to develop a planning strategy that can help ensure that they get the right type of development for their neighbourhood.
Once a neighbourhood plan is ‘made’ (adopted), it becomes part of the development plan for the area and carries significant weight in deciding planning applications.
More information on neighbourhood planning can be found on the GOV.UK website.
If you want to make a neighbourhood plan
There are formal stages required by legislation when developing a neighbourhood plan, these stages are:
- Designating the neighbourhood area
- First draft of the neighbourhood plan (Pre-Submission version)
- Final draft of the neighbourhood plan (Submission version)
More information on how to prepare a neighbourhood plan can be found in the neighbourhood plan toolkit.
Our legal duties to groups making a neighbourhood plan
We are required by law to offer help and advice to groups producing neighbourhood plans. This includes:
- providing policy guidance to support the neighbourhood planning process;
- advice on methods of public consultation and engagement;
- advice on how to publicise the proposed plan to the community, how to consult and publicise; and
- advice on the availability of grant funding for neighbourhood planning groups.
This is in addition to our commitments during the individual plan stages.
Designating the neighbourhood area
- publicise the application on our website
- determine applications for neighbourhood areas
- for unparished areas, we will consult on applications for neighbourhood area designation for a minimum of 6 weeks and publicise the consultation on our website
- provide a paper copy of the application at the nearest council office
- in discussion with the neighbourhood body, amend the boundary of the neighbourhood area if it is inappropriate (for example, if it includes parts of other parishes that have not consented to their inclusion)
- for unparished areas, provide a paper copy of the application at other council offices and main libraries
First draft of the neighbourhood plan (Pre-submission version)
- support the preparation of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) screening report of the emerging neighbourhood plan
- advise on the consultation process and who to consult
- comment on the draft neighbourhood plan
- publicise the consultation on our website
- arrange for a Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA) screening report to be prepared
- provide a paper copy of the Pre-Submission Plan at the council office and / or main library nearest to the neighbourhood area
Final draft of the neighbourhood plan (Publication version)
- consult on the Publication version (the Submission Plan) for a minimum of 6 weeks
- publish the plan on our website
- provide a hard copy of the plan and supporting documents at the nearest council office for inspection
- collate all responses and prepare them for submission to the examiner
- publish the comments received on our website
- summarise the comments received for the examiner
- provide hard copies of the plan at other council offices and main libraries
- liaise with the neighbourhood planning group to appoint an examiner
- publish details of the examination on our website
- pass any representations made at the Publication stage to the examiner
- manage and fund the process of the examination
- act as a key contact for the examiner
- answer any questions raised by the examiner
- publicise the examiner’s report on our website
- notify consultees
- provide the examiner with a summary of the main issues raised in the representations
There may be instances where we disagree with the Examiner’s findings. If this is the case, clear reasons would need to be given for going against the Examiner’s recommendations, and we would discuss any modifications with the neighbourhood planning body. Additional consultation would also need to take place.
- arrange and fund the referendum, provided there are no Covid-19 restrictions in place
- publish information about the neighbourhood plan
- give notice that a referendum is taking place
- publish the results of the referendum
- ‘make’ (i.e. adopt) the plan, subject to the outcome of the referendum
- publish the decision to ‘make’ a neighbourhood plan on our website
- notify all individual and organisations who asked to be notified