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  • Writer's pictureDAC Planning Team

Neighbourhood Plan Engagement

Early engagement

Community engagement lies at the heart of effective neighbourhood planning, ensuring that the voices and needs of local residents are heard and reflected in the final plan. Engagement is a continuous process that begins early in plan making.

Engagement helps to establish a solid foundation by identifying key issues and themes that the plan should address. Moreover, it can uncover non-planning-related concerns, leading to additional initiatives to enhance the local area.

To kickstart community engagement efforts, it is essential to start early and maintain a detailed record of all engagement activities. This record will serve as the basis for the Consultation Statement, a crucial document that accompanies the submission of the neighbourhood plan for examination.

image of people seated around table

Community engagement strategy

Consider writing a community engagement strategy to streamline and shape the approach. The strategy can outline the methods and actions which will be used for effective engagement. Examples of engagement activities include distributing surveys, participating in community events, utilising online platforms, and hosting workshops. Tailoring these activities to target audiences and desired outcomes is key.

Digital engagement

Digital engagement methods and social media platforms offer powerful tools to reach a broader audience. Additionally, having a dedicated website for the neighbourhood plan and clear contact details can facilitate communication and participation.

Consultation Statement

A Consultation Statement is required alongside the neighbourhood plan when submitting the document for Regulation 16 consultation to the Council. The Statement documents all consultation and engagement activities undertaken throughout the neighbourhood planning process, demonstrating that effective consultation has occurred. It should also outline how feedback received has influenced the final neighbourhood plan.

To meet the legal requirements set out in Regulation 15(2), the Consultation Statement must do the following:

  • (a) Details of the people and organisations that were consulted

  • (b) Explain how they were consulted

  • (c) Summarise the main issues and concerns raised

  • (d) Describe how you have considered these points in your draft plan

Neighbourhood plans should be community-led. Engagement is therefore a fundamental aspect of successful neighbourhood planning. By actively involving residents in the process, neighbourhood plans can reflect the needs and aspirations of local communities.


How we can help

DAC Planning provides specialist neighbourhood planning support.

For a discussion on how we can assist you, please get in touch with the team: / 01206 259281

This information is for general informative purposes only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, DAC Planning accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from its use.

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