Revised Statement of Community Involvement and Revised Local Development Scheme
Members considered a report of Councillor Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of the Council, which presented two updated documents: a draft revised Statement of Community Involvement; and a draft revised Local Development Scheme, for consideration and approval. Both were documents which the Council had to produce in relation to its planning functions and related to the processes rather than the content of Local Plans. These two updates had been produced in anticipation of the upcoming public consultation on the emerging Local Plan (Strategic Policies and Site Allocations). A further report on the Local Plan and the public consultation would be brought to Members in due course.
The Leader outlined key elements of the report. The draft Statement of Community Involvement updated the version adopted in June 2018 and set out how and when the Council would engage local communities in producing the Local Plan and in determining planning applications. It was updated to reflect changes since adoption in relation to legislation, regulations, guidance and progress with the Local Plan. The revised Local Development Scheme set out an up to date timetable for the production of documents within, and associated to, the Development Plan, otherwise referred to as the Local Plan. A summary of the timeline was set out at p.101 of the Agenda. This was a very lengthy process, although the Government was considering shortening the timetable in the future. The final Local Plan document was expected to be adopted by the Council late in 2023 or early in 2024.
Approval of the report was not deemed a key decision.
Reasons for Decision
Statement of Community Involvement
The Council had a duty to prepare a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). This had to be updated at least every five years, or sooner if circumstances had changed since the last SCI was produced.
An SCI had first been adopted in 2006 to reflect the requirements of the new plan-making system introduced by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and reflected the relevant provisions at the time in relation to both plan-making and determination of planning applications. The SCI had then been revised in 2018 to reflect changes in legislation, such as amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and new guidance on Neighbourhood Planning.
This latest SCI had been revised to reflect the most recent NPPF (published in 2021) and the latest timetable for the production of the Hyndburn Local Plan.
Local Development Scheme
The Council also had a duty to prepare a Local Development Scheme (LDS) which had to publicise the intended timetable for producing the Local Plan. The LDS should be published on the Council’s website and be kept up to date. Reporting of progress against the LDS was made in the Council’s annual Authority Monitoring Report and was an important way of keeping communities informed of plan-making activity.
The Council’s last LDS had been published in June 2018, covering the period of plan preparation up to August 2021. During this time the Council had completed three rounds of consultation on the emerging Local Plan and was preparing to publish the final consultation version shortly, as set out in the LDS itself. This revised LDS presented the intentions of the Council to progress (and complete) the Local Plan over the period 2022-2025.
Whilst it had been prepared separately to the statutory Local Plan making process, the Masterplan for Huncoat formed a key part of the future development and growth of Hyndburn. It was intended that the Masterplan would be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in due course.
Both the SCI and LDS were documents which an inspector would consider at the examination stage in assessing the soundness of plan documents, to ensure that the relevant procedural and legal requirements had been met. Inspectors might also consider the SCI at planning appeals to ensure that Council had discharged its engagement and consultation functions appropriately.
Both documents would be monitored and reviewed in the light of any further changes and any requirements to keep them up to date
Alternative Options considered and Reasons for Rejection
The only alternative option would be not to adopt the updated SCI and LDS and rely on the previous versions. However this was not a realistic option for various reasons. The adopted SCI would not be up to date in terms of reflecting current legislation, guidance and regulations. Furthermore, if an updated SCI was not adopted now, it would shortly be at risk of not complying with the requirement that it be reviewed every five years. There were significant inherent risks in not having an up to date SCI or LDS which could impact on the tests of soundness when a plan was examined.
Resolved (1) That Cabinet notes the approach to public engagement as set out in the Statement of Community Involvement included with the report for the purposes of engaging the local communities in producing the Hyndburn Local Plan and determining planning applications.
(2) That Cabinet notes the timescales for preparation of the documents which will make up the Hyndburn Local Plan as set out in the Local Development Scheme (2022-2025) included with the report.
(3) That Cabinet approves the content of the Statement of Community Involvement and the Local Development Scheme.
- Revised SCI and Revised LDS - Main Report, item 252. PDF 99 KB
- Appendix 1 - Revised Statement of Community Invovement, item 252. PDF 382 KB
- Appendix 2 - Revised Local Development Scheme, item 252. PDF 576 KB
- Appendix 3 - Customer First Analysis, item 252. PDF 191 KB