A new, improved way of gathering public views about key planning issues is being introduced by the Harborough District Council (HDC). It is launching a new online consultation system which will help keep the public informed about the preparation of the new Local Plan for Harborough and related documents and encourage them to make their views heard. It will be easier to use, faster, and will allow people to see other comments which have been made.

It was to have been used for the first time from 19 September 2014 to seek public opinion on the updated Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). However, HDC was unable to launch the consultation on that date owing to essential last minute updates required to the document. When these have been rectified, the document will go out for consultation which will then run for 6 weeks from the launch date. HDC apologises for any inconvenience caused because of this delay.

The SCI sets out how the district council will involve local communities in the preparation of the new Harborough District Local Plan and other strategic planning documents. This includes deciding how many and what types of houses will be needed in the future, where they should be built, what types of new jobs are needed and where new community facilities are needed. It also sets out standards for how the Council will involve local residents in making decisions on planning applications for all kinds of development.

Training has being offered to parish councils to help introduce them to the new way of consulting and Houghton Parish Council is taking advantage of that offer.

Cllr Phil King, Harborough District Council's portfolio holder for planning said: "Commenting online has a number of advantages – it is the fastest and most accurate method and it will help us to manage representations quickly and efficiently. It will allow respondents to draft and review their comments before submitting and residents will be able to view the comments of others."

People will need to register online before submitting comments via the new system.

More information will be made available about this, and the SCI consultation, on the council website

Posted: Fri, 12 Sep 2014 21:49 by Stephen Derry

Tags: News