Get together with others; combine skills; speak to the right people at the right time.
This guide aims to help you to focus your efforts, and limited time and resources, to get the most out of your Local Plan.
Your involvement is likely to vary depending on your interests - what are you most concerned about when you think about the future of your city, town, village or countryside? Are you interested in the bigger picture or is it a more local or specific issue? Our 'Lost in Local Planning' chart will help you find your way around.
Consider whether it would make sense to get together with town or parish councils, community groups or individuals to share the work and time needed to get involved in the Local Plan process.
The way to maximise your influence is to attend events or workshops if you can and, most importantly, make written comments (representations) on each consultation exercise.
There are two main stages when the local planning authority will consult on the plan:
These are shown in our Local Plans flow chart.
The engagement stage covers the early plan-making stages, from collecting evidence to inform the plan and developing a vision and objectives, to setting out a spatial strategy, developing options, and writing policies and proposals. The Government expects local planning authorities to engage with communities to ensure the Local Plan includes a collective vision and a set of agreed priorities for the future of the area.
Once the local planning authority has drafted the Local Plan, at 'the publication stage', it must carry out a formal consultation exercise.