Community Engagement for Planning Applications

This advice should be read in the context of national, regional, and local planning policy guidance and the Councils Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) which was adopted in February 2020.

We are committed to ensuring there is early, ongoing, and meaningful engagement on development proposals, where possible and our SCI sets out the principles of engagement, consultation techniques and details of how residents and stakeholders can get involved in all aspects of planning.

For all planning proposals, applicants will be expected to engage with the community prior to submission and details of the engagement carried out will be required with their application, through the submission of a statement of community involvement. This is a local validation requirement for all applications.

Why community engagement is important

It is a key component of the planning process and gives you the opportunity to talk to neighbours and communities to explain your proposals and discuss with them any concerns they have.

Genuine and meaningful community engagement will give people a chance to be involved at the earliest possible opportunity before an application is submitted to the Council, have their constructive ideas and opinions heard and for them to make a genuine contribution and help shape development in their area when proposals can still be changed.

When done well, early community engagement improves trust and relationships between developers and local communities, building greater overall support for development and leads to better outcomes.

How much engagement you should do

The extent of engagement should be proportionate to the scale of the development but will need to include pre-application involvement.

Depending on the scale of the proposed development and the issues involved, your engagement could include:

  • Discussions with neighbours, councillors, local amenity societies, and residents’ associations
  • Public exhibitions
  • Workshops
  • Development Forums
  • Social media presence and/or a dedicated website/page

Before starting your community engagement

We can give you advice on community engagement through our planning advice service. This can include advice on engagement methods, who you should consult and discussion on any feedback you may have already received if you have already started your community engagement activities.

After you’ve engaged with the community

You will be required to submit a Statement of Community Involvement as part of your planning application which should:

  • Identify the scope of community engagement and explain how this has been achieved
  • Provide details of the engagement methods used
  • Demonstrate how the methods used have included key stakeholders and the wider community
  • Provide a schedule or timeline of when the engagement was carried out including any engagement with officers and Councillors
  • Provide a full summary of the comments and feedback received and how the scheme has been changed to address these. If no changes were made, you will need to explain why.

Depending on the proposal, you may wish to use our community engagement pro-forma. The pro-forma is designed for small scale proposals where the level of consultation is limited to your neighbours.

Last updated: 13 April 2023