Statement of Community Involvement

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1 Hull Local Plan Statement of Community Involvement Adopted 23 September Introduction 1.1 This is Hull City Council s Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) it describes how we will carry out consultation and engagement as part of our planning duties. It replaces the previous Statement of Community Involvement adopted in January We have updated the document to reflect changes to legislation and to make it more accessible.

2 2. General Principles 2.1 The following are some general principles we will apply to our planning consultations. When others undertake planning consultations, we will expect them to apply these, too. Public involvement in planning will be open to everyone. We will seek views of interested and affected parties as early as possible. Certain consultation requirements are set out in legislation. We will always strive to carry out more consultation than the minimum, as and when appropriate. We will choose the type of consultation by balancing cost, time constraints and community impact. Our consultation documents will be clear and avoid unnecessary jargon. We will offer to notify people who respond to consultations about future consultation stages. 3. Local Plan Making 3.1 It is our duty to prepare up-to-date Local Plans. These plans set out how the city should develop in a sustainable manner. They must be drawn up in consultation with the community. They also must be supported by evidence and be consistent with national policy. They are important as they provide the starting point for making decisions on planning applications. 3.2 Before the Council can adopt a Local Plan, a Planning Inspector has to examine it independently. He or she will assess whether the plan has been prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements, and whether it is sound. In planning terms soundness means that the plan is positively prepared, justified, effective, and consistent with national policy. The National Planning Policy Framework, paragraph 182, explains this in more detail. 2

3 When we will consult Hull Statement of Community Involvement (Sept 2013) 3.3 The plans we are producing and their stages of production are published in our Local Development Scheme. The table below outlines the stages we will use to prepare our Local Plans. The stages correspond with regulations set out in the Local Planning Regulations Stage 1. Evidence gathering (regulation 18) 2. Plan preparation (regulation 18) 3. Publication (regulations 19 & 20) 4. Plan submission and examination (regulations 22, 23 & 24) 5. Plan adoption (regulations 25 & 26) Description We seek ideas, views and information on the issues the Local Plan will address. Consultation documents issued at this stage are frequently known as Issues and Options. Using evidence, we prepare the Plan. We will continue to consult and involve others during this period. However, the amount of consultation will depend on the nature and scale of the issues, the emerging evidence, and whether we anticipate any significant changes in policy. Consultation documents issued at this stage are frequently known as Preferred Options. When we have gathered sufficient evidence and consulted fully, we publish the proposed Local Plan. The public have at least 6 weeks to make formal representations on its soundness. We submit the plan for the Planning Inspector to examine. We will inform all those who made representations at the Publication stage on details of the hearing. The Inspector will consider the representations and may invite people to speak at the hearing. The Inspector issues a report declaring whether the Local Plan is sound. He/she may make some recommendations to make it sound. If the Local Plan cannot be made sound, then we will go back to Stage 2 and prepare a revised Plan. Otherwise, subject to the necessary changes, the Council can adopt the Local Plan. 1 The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 can be found at: 3

4 3.4 Early engagement is important. Ideally, we want to expose all the key issues before the plan is at a late stage of development. We can then explore solutions to the key issues as the plan progresses. Consultation, however, is an ongoing process and you can be involved in any of the stages. Who we will consult 3.5 Before we begin a new plan we will compile a list of consultees of people and organisations that we consider should be involved in the plan making process. We will keep those on the list informed of the plan s progress and let them know when they can be involved. We will add people and organisations to the consultee list if they contact us expressing an interest in the plan. We will publicise the plan through a range of means see the section below on how we will consult. You should refer to the Local Development Scheme, available on the Council s website, for a list of the plans we are preparing along with their progress. 3.6 There is a list of specific and generic type of organisations that we should consider consulting when producing a Local Plan. We will try to consult as many of these organisations as possible unless they express a wish not to be consulted We also have a duty to co-operate with a number of organisations. These include neighbouring authorities, government agencies, local enterprise partnerships and local nature partnerships. We are required to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis on strategic matters relevant to our planning documents. Strategic matters are those that would have a significant impact on the land use or infrastructure of at least two planning areas. 2 The list of specific and general types of organisations can be found in Regulation 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations

5 How we will consult Hull Statement of Community Involvement (Sept 2013) 3.8 There are a number of methods that we can use to inform, consult and involve others. We are happy to hear suggestions for alternative methods, and we will try to do what we can within reasonable time and monetary constraints. The list below outlines methods that we have used before and are willing to use again: Contact appropriate organisations and individuals by or letter. Publicise consultations through leaflets, the local press, posters, our website, and social media. Make consultation documents available at Hull City Council customer service centres and libraries, the Guildhall, Kingston House, and other locations if appropriate. Make consultation documents available online through our website. Make printed copies of consultation documents available, either free or at cost price. Host public events such as exhibitions and displays at accessible times and locations where everyone is welcome to attend and have their say. Engage with existing community groups and forums, including communities of interest. Host conferences, workshops or focus groups, particularly if we have a topic that needs exploring in detail. These events will give us an opportunity to present our initial findings and encourage discussion and debate. Record your views and comments however they are made. We will compile this information into publicly available reports that explain how we considered your views in the plan making process. 5

6 4. Other Document Preparation Supplementary Planning Documents 4.1 As well as Local Plans, we can prepare Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD). These have a more limited role. For instance, they cannot change the allocation of land. Instead, they are intended to advise on matters of detail such as design and policy implementation. 4.2 These documents do not need to be examined by a Planning Inspector. However, we are required to run at least one formal public consultation before we can adopt. 4.3 We will contact appropriate organisations and individuals as we would for our Local Plans, using the same methods, as described above. When we will consult 4.4 The table below outlines the stages we will use to prepare our Supplementary Planning Documents. The stages correspond with regulations set out in the Local Planning Regulations Stage 1. Evidence gathering (regulation 12) 2. Consultation (regulation 13) 3. Adoption (regulation 14) Description We seek ideas, views and information on the issues the SPD will address. When we have gathered sufficient evidence, we will publish the draft SPD. The public will have at least 4 weeks to make formal representations. Depending on the response we receive, we may modify the draft SPD. If the changes are significant, we may choose to run another consultation. Otherwise, the Council can adopt it. 6

7 Statement of Community Involvement future review 4.5 The legal duty to consult on the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and submit it to the Planning Inspector no longer exists. We are still required to have an SCI, but the Government has not specified how we should prepare it. 4.6 In line with our commitment to community involvement and transparency, when we wish to revise the SCI we will use the following stages: Stage Description 1. Preparation This will normally be in response to changes to national policy or legislation, through practical experience, or through feedback from the community. 2. Consultation When a revised SCI has been prepared, we will publish it. The public will have at least 4 weeks to make formal representations. 3. Adoption Depending on the response we receive, we may modify it. If the changes are significant, we may choose to run another consultation. Otherwise, the Council can adopt it. Neighbourhood Plans 4.7 Communities can now prepare neighbourhood plans to influence the future of their areas. These allow communities to set planning policies to guide development in their neighbourhood. The Council will adopt a neighbourhood plan subject to an independent examination and a positive community referendum. 4.8 The Council has published procedures for preparing a neighbourhood plan. An interested community group would initially approach the Council s relevant Area Team. The community group would propose a neighbourhood area along with the group of people tasked with producing a plan. Full details of the process are available on our website. 7

8 4.9 Neighbourhood plans require extensive community engagement and involvement. As the Council does not prepare these plans, the procedures set out in our Statement of Community Involvement do not apply. However, neighbourhood forums are welcome to refer to this document for suggested consultation methods. 5. Planning Applications Pre-application stage 5.1 We encourage anyone seeking planning permission to consult all those likely to be affected by their proposal and consider their views before submitting an application. This may be as simple as talking over plans with a neighbour. 5.2 The Council also offers pre-application advice to help identify any potential problems early on. These meetings will be treated as confidential. Contact us for details. 5.3 The nature conservation value of the Humber estuary is protected by national and European law. We advise applicants for development that might affect or be affected by the Humber and its associated nature conservation value to contact the Humber Nature Partnership at the pre-application stage. This should help the applicant understand their legal obligations regarding the natural environment and to receive support in addressing these. 5.4 Hull City Council has agreed to protocols / standing advice for consulting with Humberside Police and the Environment Agency on applications for certain types of development. Close working with the two organisations is to ensure that key issues of crime prevention and flood risk are fully addressed by the applicant. Information regarding designing out crime and flood risk are available on the Council's website. It is 8

9 important that applicants raise these issues at the preapplication stage to ensure that they submit the necessary information in their application. 5.5 Major or significant development includes development that is: 10 or more dwellings or 1000 square metres or more of floorspace; Requires an environmental statement; Involves waste treatment; Involves the closure or alteration of a public right of way; Affects playing fields or public open spaces; or Conflicts with adopted planning policies. 5.6 Developers for the types of development listed above will be encouraged to carry out consultations before submitting a planning application. In particular, they should: Talk to the Council about their proposal. For proposals that are more significant it may be appropriate to present their proposals to Members of the Planning Committee to receive pre-application feedback. Talk directly with statutory consultees, such as the Highways Agency, English Heritage, the Environment Agency and Natural England, to minimise technical objections. Consult the local community that would be affected by their proposal. Write up the above activities and show how they have been taken into account as part of a statement supporting the planning application. On submission 5.7 We have a duty to consult on nearly all planning applications. Exceptions include those for advertisements and certificates of lawful use. 9

10 5.8 We will advertise most submitted planning applications by site notice, or by individual notification of neighbours if we decide that is more appropriate. We will publish applications for major development in a local newspaper (typically the Hull Daily Mail). 5.9 You will have a minimum of 21 days from the date of a site notice or letter (and 14 days from the date of a press notice) to comment on a planning application. Statutory bodies may get longer where the law prescribes this. All comments that we receive will be taken into account in the decision making process (see below). They will also be made publicly available Hull City Council has agreed to a Joint Strategic Planning Protocol with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, the Humber Local Nature Partnership, and the Hull and East Riding Local Nature Partnership. It sets the thresholds for when we will consult these organisations on our planning applications. Generally it will be for the larger applications, specifically 50+ houses or sqm of non-residential floorspace We will publish a weekly list of planning applications and make planning applications available to view on our website. You can also view planning applications in the 2nd Floor reception area of Kingston House, Bond Street, Hull. Decision making process 5.12 We will seek to resolve any valid issues that are raised during the consultation period before the application is decided. All comments will be considered. However, the decision on a planning application is often a question of balancing different interests. It is not always possible to accommodate all comments and concerns. 10

11 5.13 Many straightforward decisions are made by the Planning Officer using delegated powers. If you have commented on the application you will be notified of the decision in writing Other decisions are decided by the Council s Planning Committee. When Planning Committee considers a planning application, all the comments we have received will be summarised in a report prepared by the Planning Officer. If you comment on an application, we will inform you of the date and time of the Planning Committee. The Committee allows members of the public to address its meeting. The rules and procedures for speaking at meetings of the Planning Committee are published on the Council website We will publish all decisions on planning applications on our website. Each decision letter will have reasons for the decision. We must also produce a statement explaining how we have worked in a positive and proactive way with the applicant, in line with the National Planning Policy Framework. After a decision 5.16 In certain cases, applicants or developers should continue to engage with communities about a development after permission has been granted. We will agree this with the applicant when permission for development is granted. It will normally be when a site has particular sensitivities or issues that may arise during construction. Appeals 5.17 Only applicants have the right of appeal. We will inform anyone notified about the original application of the appeal process. The Planning Inspectorate will decide the best way to handle the appeal process. 11

12 Trees 5.18 We will publicise applications for works to trees in conservation areas and we will determine them within six weeks from the date of receipt. We will consider whether the trees warrant specific protection through Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). We will determine applications for trees that are protected by TPOs within 2 months from the date of receipt. Enforcement 5.19 We encourage the community to report concerns about planning irregularities. We will maintain the confidentiality of people providing such information. Where a breach has occurred and needs action, we can take formal planning enforcement action. We will keep people who have made an allegation, as well as those who are potentially responsible for a breach, informed throughout the investigation. 6. Contacts and web links The Council s planning website: Telephone: , Planning Portal is a useful website designed as a resource to allow members of the public and professionals to find out more about the planning system. Planning Aid England provides independent assistance with the planning system. It offers planning advice and support to individuals and communities. or tel: Information on Neighbourhood Planning can be found at: 12

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