Developers in Bristol are expected to talk to the local community at the earliest opportunity while the design is still being developed.
By identifying what will be the principal local concerns about a proposed development at an early stage, the developer can make changes to accommodate those concerns or agree an alternative which is more likely to be given approval.
The aim of Pre App CI pre application community involvement is to ensure that the impacts of any new development on an existing community are positive or at least not negative, and that the planning application stage is more predictable for developers.
The pre application discussions should therefore include representatives of the community who have experience of the local issues of the whole area, not just the near neighbours or potential users of the development. NPN groups and Ward Members are therefore identified in the Statement of Community Involvement as the ‘relevant groups’ for this purpose. Stakeholders eg future users of the building, statutory consultees and single issue groups may also be involved at the pre application stage.
Developers should contact the Neighbourhood Planning Network groups at the earliest stage of their design process, while options are still open, to discuss their proposals and agree the best way of involving the wider community, if appropriate.
Community Involvement Statement (CIS)
If your development is a ‘major’ or ‘super major’, the Local Planning Authority requires you to submit a Community Involvement Statement (CIS) with your Planning Application.
The Community Involvement Statement (CIS) records the process of discussion / negotiation, should be agreed by both parties and signed off by the community and the developer before submission.
Total agreement on the design is not expected, though of course welcomed when it occurs.
What should the Community Involvement Statement (CIS) cover?
The Community Involvement Statement (CIS) should be a description of the process of the Pre App CI and a record of the discussions with the local community.
To help the case officer and planning committee, a summary sheet should be included giving brief details of
- what community involvement meetings took place,
- what points the community raised and
- how the design has been revised to take account of the community response or if it has not, the reasons why.
A table of issues raised and responses to each issue is easy to follow and is best practice. Full records of the meetings, feedback from exhibitions etc can be attached as evidence in appendices. for a good example of a CIS see Wesley College CIS Aug 2013
Signing off the Community Involvement Statement (CIS)
The CIS should be signed off by both parties and submitted as the agreed Community Involvement Statement (CIS)
If the CIS is not countersigned by the community group, the group can submit its own CIS giving their version of the CI process and discussions. This will then be posted with the planning application on the BCC website.
How do I contact a group to carry out Pre-Application Community Involvement (Pre App CI)?
Contact the NPN administrator to find out which group or groups should be involved. Networkadministrator@bristolnpn.net
Bristol City Council website page on Major Development has links to the
Planning Protocol, the agreement between GWE Business West, Bristol Property Agents and Bristol City Council on Working together on Major Planning Applications and the
WoEP toolkit published by the four west of England local authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership on Making the planning process work better for everyone.