Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The adoption of a revised Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) for planning applications determined by the County Council and Local Plan projects.
Reason for the decision:
The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) is a legal requirement arising from the Council’s town and country planning responsibilities. It sets out the Council’s approach to
involving the community in plan making and its consideration of planning applications
within Kent. The County Council's first SCI was adopted in 2006 and separate
Addendum were published in April 2013 and January 2014.
As the Town and Country Planning Regulations require a council’s SCI to be reviewed every five years, the current SCI requires review.
Following a review, revisions are proposed to the adopted SCI document, mainly to take into account changes in legislation and national planning policies and some minor factual updates. Key proposed changes will result in a streamlining of the plan making process and a shift towards increasing engagement via digital means. The document is formatted in a new way that is intended to make its contents clearer and includes a new section on how the County Council will support neighbourhood planning. It is of note that the opportunities for engagement during plan making and consideration of planning applications have not changed.
A draft SCI document was considered by the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee in November 2020, where Members endorsed the document for public consultation in line with best practice.
The public consultation was undertaken from December 2020 – January 2021. As a result of the consultation, several minor amendments have been made to improve clarity throughout the document The document however remains materially unchanged in terms of its policies and objectives from the public consultation version.
Following public consultation and the consideration of responses, the revised SCI should be adopted by the County Council as the basis for engagement on planning application and the Council’s plan making responsibilities.
How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities,
Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’ and the objectives of ‘Setting the Course’: Kent County Council’s Interim Strategic Statement (December 2020)
The revised SCI will be used to deliver the Council’s adopted Mineral and Waste Local Plan strategy and policies in the Borough and District Council’s local plans. These are in accordance with national planning policies and support the County Council’s corporate policies contained within the Council’s Strategic Statement ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes – Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement 2015-2020 and the recently approved Setting the Course – Kent County Council’s Interim Strategic Plan 2020, which sets the Council’s priorities for the next 2 years.
Kent’s mineral and waste planning policies and the Council’s infrastructure projects support and facilitate sustainable growth in Kent’s economy. In addition, they support the creation of a high-quality built environment, with accessible local services that reflect the community’s needs and support its health, social and cultural well-being.
(a) adopt the updated Statement of Community Involvement as the basis for engagement on the Council’s planning applications and plan making responsibilities;
delegate powers to the Corporate Director for Growth, Environment & Transport to approve any minor modifications to the text of the Statement of Community Involvement, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment, which may be needed (such as formatting changes and typographical errors), in order to publish the Statement of Community Involvement
Publication date: 19/03/2021
Date of decision: 19/03/2021
Effective from: 27/03/2021