Statement of Community Involvement revision 2019

Statment of Community Involvement update 2019

2 Local Plans and other planning policy documents

Local Plans and Supplementary Planning  Documents other planning policy documents

 Details of local plans and supplementary planning documents currently being prepared can be found in the Local Development Scheme on the council’s website.

Local plans

We prepare local plans containing policies for development and related issues. They must be supported by evidence and generally accord with national policies. Consultation is required during their preparation, after which they are submitted to the government. An independent planning inspector then carries out an examination of the document, considering

the views of interested people. The Inspector submits a report to the council who then adopt the plan with or without the inspectors recommended changes.

The minimum requirements for consultation are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) England Regulations 2012 Part 6 sections 18-22 relate to consultation on local plans.

Who we will consult

  1. Statutory organisations including town or parish councils, infrastructure providers and government bodies as legally required or otherwise appropriate. This includes consultation under the council’s “duty to co- operate” with neighbouring local planning authorities;
  2. Organisations representing local geographical, economic, social and other communities or other relevant interests;
  3. Local businesses and employers;
  4. Voluntary and other organisations;
  5. Others who have expressed an interest in the subject matter;
  6. The general public;

The council uses an on line consultation system called econsult. Individuals or organisations can add themselves to the council’s planning policy consultation database online at or by contacting the Planning Policy Team. The privacy policy (available on the registration page) explains how the information held on eConsult is used.

How we will consult

  1. Before commencing the local plan we will prepare a document setting out the scope of the plan and how we intend to involve people in its preparation (pre-production brief).
  2. We will contact appropriate organisations and individuals directly. This will generally be by email or if preferred, by letter.
  3. We will publicise consultations through a range of means, as appropriate to the subject matter. This can include press adverts,. leaflets, website, posters, displays, commercial community and social media, existing community groups, community events and joining with other consultations.
  4. Electronic consultation through our website will be our preferred method of consultation.
  5. We will make consultation documents available to view at locations open to the public. As a minimum this means council offices at Castlewood in Clevedon and Town Hall Weston-super-Mare and relevant North Somerset libraries.
  6. Consultation documents will be made available for download on the council’s website. Hard copies where requested will out of necessity incur a reasonable charge. Alternative formats can be provided on request.
  7. We will consider organising or supporting other consultation events, such as community based planning meetings.
  8. We will publish comments received, or a summary, as soon as feasible. Individual comments are normally available to view on our consultation website. We will explain how these comments have been taken into account when decisions are taken. This will normally be via the Consultation Statement submitted to Secretary of State when the local plan is submitted for examination.
  9. We will give a single email point of contact and usually the name and telephone contact details of the person in charge of the consultation.

When we will consult

  1. At the start of the process we will first will ask for ideas, views and information from appropriate organisations, individuals and communities (usually by means of the pre- production brief).
  2. For planning policy documents which are likely to have impacts on adjoining local authority areas, the council will engage with the relevant local authorities at the earliest possible stage in the preparation of the document plan under the Council’s “duty to co-operate”. This will help to ensure communities and organisations in the adjoining area are notified and have opportunities to be involved in the preparation of the document. It will also enable the council and adjoining local authorities to identify any cross-boundary impacts and necessary mitigation measures, as well as co-ordinate consultation activities
  3. After considering the initial comments and the relevance of previous consultation results we will consider the need to prepare documents for additional consultation stages setting out options, information, greater detail or a preferred option or other useful content. These consultation stages will be a minimum of four weeks but as a norm will be six weeks. If the consultation unavoidably includes a major public holiday then a longer period for responding will be given. Once we are satisfied that a fair opportunity has been offered for organisations and individuals to express their views we will prepare the formal “submission document”.
  4. We will formally publish the submission document (or equivalent under any revision to the relevant regulations) for formal representations to be made. The formal consultation period will be a minimum of six weeks.
  5. An additional consultation period may be necessary following submission if pre- examination modifications are required, or if the inspector proposes modifications and consultation on these.

Sustainability appraisal of Local Plans

Sustainability Appraisals (SA’s are technical documents which identify the likely significant effects of the plan and the extent to which the plan will achieve its economic, social and environmental objectives. Consultation and engagement during their preparation is covered by a different set of regulations[1]. Statutory bodies such as the Environment Agency,

Natural England and English Heritage will be involved early in the process. There is an opportunity for any interested parties to be involved as the SA has to be published for comment alongside the local plan it relates to at the proposed submission /publication version stage.

Supplementary planning documents

We prepare supplementary planning documents on specific topics or sites to give more detailed advice than contained in a local plan. Again, they must be supported by appropriate evidence and generally accord with national policies.

The way they are prepared is different to local plans. We will carry out at least one stage of consultation before we adopt. A planning inspector is not involved. You can find more detailed guidance on the minimum legal consultation requirements for SPDs in the

Town and Country Planning (Local Planning)

 (England) Regulations 2012 Part 4, 8 – 10 5 11-14.

Our approach is very similar to local plans, but is likely to include more targeted consultation i.e. particular groups for a topic based SPD or residents in a particular area for a site based SPD.

Who we  will consult

As a) to e) for Local Plans above

How we  will consult

As b) to h) for Local Plans above

When we will consult

  • First, if appropriate, we may ask for ideas, views and information from appropriate organisations, individuals and communities.
  • After looking at any initial comments and assessing the relevance of previous consultation results we may carry out informal consultation before we prepare a formal draft supplementary planning document.
  • We will then consult on a draft version of the supplementary planning document for a minimum of four weeks. The council understands the difficulty experienced by groups in responding within this time therefore a period of six weeks will be the norm for supplementary planning documents.
  • After considering the responses to the draft, we will consider the need for further consultation.
  • Once we consider that there has been maximum benefit obtained from community involvement we will publish a consultation statement and adopt the supplementary planning document.

Neighbourhood development plans and orders

Unlike the other local plan documents, neighbourhood plans (and neighbourhood development orders) are taken forward by communities themselves through parish and town councils with some support from North Somerset Council. Neighbourhood plans can establish policies for the development of land in a defined area set out planning policies and proposals to shape development within their neighbourhood area if the majority of voters in the neighbourhood give approval. These plans must be in conformity with the national planning policy set out by the government as well as with strategic policies in the local plan documents produced by the Council.

Town and parish councils must consult on the draft Plan themselves, as set out in the Regulations4 (see Part 5 for neighbourhood

development plans). The general principles set out in Section1 may also be used as guidance.

The plan must then be submitted to North Somerset Council who carry out a period of consultation for a minimum of six weeks in accordance with the regulations (4).

Consultation will conform to the principles in Section 1 of this SCI. Any comments received are then forwarded to an examiner who will carry out an independent examination of the plan. If the plan passes the examination then it is put to a referendum of the local neighbourhood.

North Somerset Council will give technical and other advice to parish and town councils who are undertaking neighbourhood planning, as well as being a consultee.



[4] European Directive 2001/42/EC

Community Infrastructure levy

 The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge applied to housing and retail developments to help fund supporting infrastructure. It was introduced in North Somerset in January 2018.

The CIL Charging Schedule will be reviewed alongside the production of a new Local Plan, but this does not necessarily mean that the rates will change. The rates may also be reviewed if there is a change in the legislation or national guidance governing CIL. On the basis of current legislation the review of CIL rates will follow the process outlined below, however this process may be modified to accord with any legislative changes:

1)         Initially the council will prepare evidence base studies to inform the review process and to determine whether any rates should be adjusted, deleted, or new rates introduced. This will be informed by engagement with key stakeholders and interested parties.

2)         If a change is needed then in accordance with current legislation a preliminary charging schedule will be produced and consultation undertaken for a minimum of four weeks. The consultation will be advertised via the council’s website, publicised through local media and direct contact will be made to interested parties on the planning policy consultation database and statutory consultees.

3)         The Council will then publish a Draft Charging Schedule and will consult on this for a minimum of four weeks. The consultation will be published on our website. Direct contact will be made with statutory consultees and with statutory consultees and with interested parties on the planning policy database to advertise the consultation.

4)         Where any modifications are made as a result of the consultation, the council will produce a ‘statement of modifications’ and publish these for a further minimum period of four weeks consultation.

The Charging Schedule will then be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination. The appointed examiner receives and considers all of the supporting evidence base in addition to the representations made on the draft schedule and, if relevant, the statement of modifications. The Examiner will write a report concluding whether the proposals are “sound” or if changes are recommended. This report will be considered by the Council at one of their public meetings and they will decide whether or not to adopt the new rates.

If the Examiner suggests changes that are not acceptable to the Council, then it may be necessary to re-review the evidence base and to repeat some or all of the above steps.

There is currently draft legislation under consideration to make changes to the above process, including the preliminary draft charging schedule stage of consultation. If the legislation is passed, NSC will update its processes accordingly.

How to contact us about planning policy consultations

Specific consultations may specify alternative contact details, but for general queries about planning policy consultations use the contact details below.

Email: Tel:   Planning Policy Team 01934 426 775 Write to:

Planning Policy and Research

Development and Environment

North Somerset Council Town Hall

Weston-super-Mare BS23 1UJ


4 The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 Part 5, Reg 14 and 16