Kirklees Cabinet adopted the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) on 3 December 2019. This replaces the Statement of Community Involvement adopted in 2015.
It sets out how we will work with local communities and stakeholders to develop planning policy documents such as the Kirklees Local Plan, Areas Action Plans, Neighbourhood Plans and Supplementary Planning Documents.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has impacted on the way that the council is able to carry out consultation and in particular the availability of printed materials with the closure of many deposit locations for safety reasons for staff and our communities.
The Town and Country Planning Regulations 2012 (as amended) made temporary changes to how documents are required to be made available. They removed the requirement on a local planning authority to make documents available for public inspection at the authority's principal office and at such other places as the authority considers appropriate. They also removed the requirement on a local planning authority to provide hard copies of documents at specified locations. Documents are still required to be made available on the local planning authority's website.
These measures were initially in place until 31st December 2020 but have now been extended to 31st December 2021 through the Local Planning, Development Management Procedure, Listed Buildings etc. (England) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (Statutory Instrument (SI) 2020/1398). The new SI allows councils to continue to make relevant planning documents available online rather than being required to provide hard copies.
From 30 December 2020, the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1531) permanently removes the requirements for the responsible authority to keep a copy of documents relating to their strategic environmental assessment of a plan or programme at its principal office for inspection, and provide for a copy to be obtainable from that office.
In addition, the Government has postponed all neighbourhood plan referendums until at least 6th May 2021. This is set out within the following Statutory Instrument: The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/395).
The council has prepared an Addendum to the Kirklees Council Statement of Community Involvement (December 2019) to reflect these changes.