Somerset residents are being invited to have their say on the new Somerset Council’s approach to planning matters.
The five current Somerset councils (Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council and South Somerset District Council) are consulting the public on a draft ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ (SCI) – a single approach to planning which will be formally adopted by the new Somerset Council.
The SCI is designed to set out how Somerset Council, as the Local Planning Authority, will engage and consult with the community and stakeholders on all planning matters. It will cite who the Council will consult with through the various stages of Local Plan preparation and what consultation methods should be used. Notably, it will include how the Council involves people and organisations when assessing and deciding on planning applications for new developments, and any expectations for developers and agents when engaging with those who may be affected.
Cllr Ros Wyke, Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Development and Assets, said:
“There are a number of existing Statement of Community Involvement documents in operation under the current Local Authorities; however, these have all been prepared at different times and reflect the specific planning functions of the five different Councils under the two-tier system.
“With the formation of the new unitary Somerset Council on 1 April, there is a need to prepare a new, single SCI for Somerset as a whole. This will ensure a consistent approach to how we engage with our communities. We welcome responses from as many members of the public as possible during this consultation period, in which we are actively engaging with a wide range of stakeholders.”
The consultation will run until Thursday 16 March 2023.
To view the current draft of the new Statement of Community Involvement and complete the survey, please visit the opens in a new windowSomerset County Council website.