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Decision details

Statement of Community Involvement

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

The report seeks approval for the joint Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Statement of Community Involvement to be adopted by the Council.

Decision:

Matter for Decision

  i.  The report presented the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) for adoption following the conclusion of public consultation. The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, state that LPAs in England must review their SCI every five years to ensure it is up to date and reflects current legislation and best practice. The SCI has been prepared to ensure that the LPAs are in accordance with this regulatory requirement.

 

  ii.  In the context of the Greater Cambridge area, the new SCI sets out how Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Councils as part of the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service will consult on planning policy documents and planning applications, ensuring that the two councils are consistent in their approach to engagement with local communities. The SCI would replace the adopted SCI of Cambridge City Council (2013) and South Cambridgeshire District Council (2010).

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

 

  i.  Resolved to adopt the Statement of Community Involvement (2019) for Greater Cambridge, prepared jointly with South Cambridgeshire District Council.

 

  ii.  Agreed that the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development is granted delegated authority, in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, and the Chair and Spokes for the Planning Policy and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make any editing changes prior to publication.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

The Committee received a report from the Senior Planning Policy Officer.

 

In response to the report, councillors commented that more clarity was needed regarding Section 2.2 of the document. The public needed to understand the engagement process. The Senior Planning Policy Officer undertook to discuss this further with the Executive Councillor outside the meeting.

 

Councillor Green suggested that Cambridge University had offered to provide training and support to members of the public on how best to engage with the planning process.

 

The Senior Planning Policy Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Confirmed that this Committee had seen an earlier draft of the document and suggested that it would be difficult to make anything more than minor changes as this would require further consultation.

  ii.  Confirmed that the statement regarding Councillor call-in of a planning application had been kept at a high level as this was a joint policy and engagement details varied across the authorities.

  iii.  Agreed to add links to the document to direct the public to further information on engagement.

  iv.  Confirmed that a commitment had been made to simplify the planning idox system as members of the public had found it confusing.

 

Councillors sought clarification regarding the area of public notification of planning application and questioned how proposed savings would be achieved. Members sought an assurance that there was no intention to reduce existing service levels regarding public notification. Officers undertook to circulate full details of notification areas outside the meeting.

 

The Committee resolved by 5 votes to 1 and 2 abstentions to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

Publication date: 04/10/2019

Date of decision: 25/06/2019