Statement of Community Involvement

Temporary changes due to COVID19

The Council’s adopted Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) sets minimum requirements for consultation. At plan examination, compliance with the SCI is one of the legal tests that must be passed.

Restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the publication of new planning guidance relating to SCIs. The Council has assessed the SCI to identify which policies are inconsistent with current restrictions.

There is now a temporary version of the SCI which identifies which parts of the SCI are inconsistent, and explains in a statement added to the start of the document, how we will seek to engage where digital means are not available. These temporary changes were formally agreed by Executive on 24 June 2020.

The Statement of Community Involvement 2019 informs local communities of how and when they can get involved in the planning process, setting out publicity and consultation procedures for local plans, new types of documents that the Council must consult on and the neighbourhood planning process.

Involving communities:

  • helps to establish agreement about future development in the borough
  • allows communities to influence planning decisions that shape the local area
  • enables those that may be affected by a proposed development or plan to express their views before decisions are made

The document reflects national changes to planning policies and procedures and revises contact details. Reference has also been made to the Council’s digital operating model, new consultation channels and GDPR.

It was adopted by the Council’s Executive on 30 October 2019.

The adopted Statement of Community Involvement 2019 can also be viewed at all libraries in the borough and the Council's Customer Service Centre at 2 Horne Lane, Bedford.

Minerals and waste service

A separate Statement of Community Involvement sets out the approach to the consultation on Minerals and Waste plans and planning applications.