The way in which residents and organisations have their say on development in Rother is under consultation.
Changes to legislation means the district council must make amendments to its Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), originally adopted in 2006.
One of the proposed changes is greater use of social media to engage the community in planning consultations.
“More and more people are using social media to stay informed and this seems the perfect forum to share information about consultations on planning policies,” said Gillian Johnson, portfolio holder for strategic planning.
“It is changes like this that need to be reflected in our Statement of Community Involvement and one reason why updating the document is so important.”
Speaking about social media, the draft document says: “The council will seek to choose the appropriate consultation processes that best balance community impact, accessibility and available resources.
“Greater use is being made of online and social media methods of consultation while appreciating that they are not available for all sections of the population.”
The SCI covers the way in which people are involved in determining planning applications, how they are kept informed, how documents are made available and how they can give their views.
It also sets out how the council advertises consultation on planning policies and how it involves the public.
“Rother District Council is consulting on changes to its SCI – a document setting out how the authority will involve the public in the planning process and ensuring the community is involved at every stage of the planning process is extremely important to us,” said Cllr Johnson.
“It is vital that the public have the opportunity to have a say on planning applications and planning policies, which govern development across the district.”
The draft document outlines the main ways in which the council will involve the community in planning decisions:
1) Web-based consultation via www.rother.gov.uk/planningpolicy.
2) Written notifications with consultation bodies and those who have asked to be notified. Anyone wanting to be added to the list can email email@example.com.
3) Documents available at the Town Hall and online at public access computers in Battle and Rye libraries.
4) Public notices
5) ‘My Alerts’ weekly email service. To subscribe, visit www.rother.gov.uk/article/10728/My-Alerts.
7) Press releases and briefings.
8) Posters and leaflets.
10) Meetings and/or focus groups.
The consultation runs until 4.30pm on Friday, September 25, and is open to town and parish councils, statutory consultees, organisations and individuals.
Residents can have their say online at www.rother.gov.uk/SCI.
Forms can be downloaded and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forms can also be delivered by hand or sent to Service Manager, Consultation on Draft SCI, Planning Policy, Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN39 3JX.
The adopted Statement of Community Involvement and draft, updated document, and details of how to respond can be found at www.rother.gov.uk/SCI.
Paper copies are also available at Rother District Council Town Hall, Bexhill, TN39 3JX, from 8.30am-4.30pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 9.30am-4.30pm on Wednesdays.
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