Recent changes in Planning Policy introduce a hierarchy of planning applications, dependant on the scale of the development proposed. An extensive period of Community consultation is now a requirement at pre-application stage for certain classes of development.
There is a national requirement for much greater public involvement and transparency. It is important to ensure that the process which is adopted does have real benefits for both the Developer and the Community. The process requires to be carefully thought out, handled and documented.
Recent changes to the Planning system require that the Public:-
- Has greater access to information.
- Has the opportunity to put forward their views, ideas and comments.
- Feels confident that their views receive due consideration.
- Has the opportunity to have a part in developing proposals.
- Receives feedback from consultations and information on outcomes.
Our expertise and our established relationship with experts in community consultation enables us to manage the process effectively, elements of which may include:-
- Press releases.
- Public / community meetings.
- Providing information by way of letter or leaflet.
- Targeting key individuals or organisation such as community councils.
- Managing communication with individuals and stakeholder groups.
- Submission of Pre-Application Notices and Reports
- Public Exhibitions leading up to submission of Major and National applications
Value to Client
Pre-application consultation and engagement is a requirement of the planning process for a large number of developments. It should, however not be seen as an ‘obligation’ but as an opportunity. By connecting with local communities in a planned and strategic manner, the prospects for securing planning consent can be raised. Effective consultation and communication may offer the following benefits:-
- Those affected by development proposals are better informed from the outset
- Development proposals are not delayed by an issue which may otherwise have come to light later on in the application process
- Community issues and aspirations can be better understood
- The developer has an opportunity to diffuse difficult situations before they arise, thus potentially reducing objections
- The opportunity exists, early on in the process, to avoid misunderstandings
- Well thought out consultation and communication can have benefits for both the Community and the Developer.