Council asks for feedback on public involvement in planning issues
Liverpool City Council has launched a public consultation on how it intends to communicate and involve residents and businesses on all planning matters.
The council has published a draft statutory document, known as a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), which sets out the ways in which it will engage with residents, businesses, community groups and other stakeholders in the development of planning policy and the determination of planning applications.
The seven-week consultation will run until January 13, 2023.
The draft SCI sets out a list of proposals for:
- Consultation on planning policy documents – ie Local Plan, Supplementary Planning Documents and design guidance/codes.
- Stages of consultation – from what meets planning regulations to additional engagement, ie workshops and focus groups, online events, use of social media and public meetings.
- The preparation process for a neighbourhood plan.
- Publicising planning and other types of applications received by the planning department.
The draft SCI will underpin one of the council’s key responsibilities, how land is used and developed. The purpose of the document will be to help ensure the council delivers a collaborative approach to new plans and strategies that shape Liverpool and its neighbourhoods.
The council’s aim is to involve people in a meaningful way using timely, proportionate, and appropriate consultation techniques.
An update to the council’s current SCI is required to reflect changes to legislation and guidance including the latest planning regulations, changes in national planning policy and guidance, the new Local Plan, adopted early 2022, as well as changes in communication methods and techniques. It is also necessary for SCIs to be reviewed every five years.
Cllr Sarah Doyle, cabinet member for development and economy, said: “Everyone has an opinion on planning – whether it’s a major development or a neighbour’s extension.
“Planning affects us all. It may seem like a dry subject when people talk about frameworks and strategies, but these are the building blocks that determine how and where things are built, or demolished.
“Planning shapes the neighbourhoods in which we all live and work, and it is important that people have the opportunity to be involved and influence decision making.
“The council is committed to engaging with local residents, organisations, businesses and other interested parties to get their views on planning matters including policy documents and planning applications.”
She added: “I hope as many people as possible take the short time to read this document and give us their views. Their feedback is going to ultimately help shape how Liverpool grows and changes. That’s an amazing opportunity to go past a development and say I helped my city do that.”
Following this consultation, the city council will review all comments and representations before making any appropriate amends. It is anticipated that a final version will be ready for political assessment by cabinet in early spring.