Statement of Community Involvement

Lake District National Park, Statement of Community Involvement - adopted 26th October 2022

What is a Statement of Community Involvement?

We place great importance on effective community involvement. The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) explains how you can expect us to consult and involve you in:

  • preparing local development documents (such as the Local Plan)
  • the development management process, including determining planning applications and offering planning advice

Why do we need a new SCI?

The previous version was adopted in 2016 and this review is necessary to ensure the SCI complies with updated guidance and regulations. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) encourages consultation before a planning application is submitted and at key stages as we prepare and review our Local Plan and other policy documents. A review of the SCI is also necessary to ensure the SCI and methods of engagement are accessible and can be used by as many people as possible as required by the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018. This includes ensuring this document is provided as a website page to enable the information to be translated into different languages, read by a screen reader and is more accessible to mobile phone users.

This SCI provides a more flexible approach to consultation and engagement. Should an event/situation arise where we cannot carry out traditional face to face methods of communication, we will rely more heavily on the use of online content and new technologies to ensure that effective engagement with the community is achieved.

We are the local planning authority for the whole of the Lake District National Park. This means we have a statutory responsibility to maintain up-to-date local development documents, and to determine applications for development and listed building consent that we receive. To do this successfully, we need to consult and engage effectively at the right times and in the right ways so plans and policies can be understood and supported.

Community involvement and consultation – Local Planning

We produce local development documents, the key document that we produce is known as the Local Plan. We also produce other documents which provide greater details on specific topics, these documents are called Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs).

Community involvement in relation to Local Planning is guided by national regulations and legislation including the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012(as amended), which include basic requirements about who local planning authorities must consult and how and when we must do it.

Methods of community involvement

Public involvement in the planning system is open to everyone. We will actively seek to engage anyone who is interested in planning issues and encourage them to comment and have their input into the planning process. Our documents will be easy to read and understand, and you will be able to obtain information and advice from our website, by phone, by e-mail or in person.

Access to the internet continues to increase and there has been a shift towards online services and correspondence by e-mail and social media. However, we recognise there are still a number of people who are unable to use electronic forms of communication to access information. Therefore, we will continue to ensure consultation methods are available in a variety of formats when preparing local development documents – this includes paper and electronic version.

We will always aim to go beyond what is required of us by law to meet your consultation needs, but this will be balanced against resource availability.

We will consult with Town and Parish Councils, Parish meetings, local businesses, voluntary organisations, other interested bodies, the general public including anyone who has expressed an interest and with statutory organisations including Councils, infrastructure providers, and Government bodies.

If you are interested in being notified about the Local Plan and associated consultations visit the Community involvement in planning policy page on the Lake District National Park website.

We are required to conform to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The contact information you provide us will only be used for the purpose of which it was provided and in line with our Privacy Notice.

Lake District National Park Partnership

Formed in 2006, the Lake District National Park Partnership brings together 25 key stakeholders and organisations representing public, private, community and voluntary sectors that can influence the future of the Lake District. This collective body and its subgroups provide an important forum to engage with a wide range of key stakeholders to inform local development documents.

Duty to Cooperate

The ‘duty to cooperate’ as set out in the Localism Act 2011 places a legal duty on local planning authorities, county councils and public bodies to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of Local and Marine Plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters. We will continue to work closely with partners to deliver planning in the Lake District and fulfil the requirements under the duty to cooperate.

What we will do

Every consultation with the public will have a clear mandate which explains the aims of the consultation.

The sections below highlight what we will do and the additional consultation options we might consider.

The additional consultation options provide extra flexibility to enable us to consider the best approach to reflect the nature, scale, type of each consultation, as well as the resources available. The principle of “frontloading” means that additional consultation options should be considered during the earlier stages.

Stages of developing a Local Plan

Options Stage (Preparation of Local Plan, Regulation 18) - Identifying issues and options that the Local Plan needs to address and consider. During the options stage members of the public are consulted and can give their views on the issues important to them in their area by telling the local authority what the local needs are.

Pre-submission Publication (Regulation 19) – at this stage Local Plan policies are published for public consultation.

Submission to Secretary of State - Local Plan and public responses are submitted to the Secretary of State, who appoints a Planning Inspector.

Public Examination - The Local Plan, public responses and written statements are examined by the planning inspector at public examination.

Main modifications and additional consultations – Following public examination there may be further modifications published for consultation.

Publication of Inspector’s recommendations – following a review of modification a report on the soundness of the Local Plan is issued by the Inspector.

Adoption – the Authority will adopt the Plan at Authority committee and the process is concluded.

Consultation for the Local Plan

Options and Pre-submission Publication Stage

What we will do:
  • Consult for a minimum of six weeks;
  • Notify appointed members of the National Park Authority;
  • Notify registered contacts and Town/Parish Council and Parish meetings;
  • Notify specific consultation bodies, relevant authorities, general consultation bodies, and the local policing body (as prescribed by Regulations);
  • Notify the Lake District National Park Partnership;
  • Make consultation documents available from our principle office;
  • Make consultation documents available in alternative formats on request;
  • Issue a press release;
  • Publicise and make consultation documents available and accessible on our website;
  • Publicise as a news item on our website or via other electronic or social media methods e.g. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Additional options we will consider:
  • Longer consultation period;
  • Undertake further informal consultation stages;
  • Provide an online consultation tool for consultees and agents to make comments online;
  • Make paper copies of consultation documents available at prescribed locations (such as libraries and Information Centres);
  • Provide a covering letter or summary;
  • Provide an interactive online map;
  • Public exhibitions, or public meetings, or drop-in sessions aimed primarily at residents;
  • Engage with Local Area Committees and their support teams;
  • Engage with specific groups of the community as appropriate, e.g. drop in sessions with organisations;
  • Involvement of Councils and Councillors covering the National Park;
  • Notify neighbourhood publications;
  • Arrange special features in local newspapers and local radio;
  • Publicise the role of Planning Aid (see below);
  • Engage with specific groups through social media platforms e.g. Facebook groups, Instagram polls;
  • Virtual consultations and online webinars.

Submission to Secretary of State

At this stage the Local Plan is ‘examined’ by the Planning Inspectorate on whether it is ‘sound’ and has met all of the legal requirements. During the examination the Inspector will hold a public examination. The Inspector and their Programme Officer are responsible for how the public examination is run.

What we will do:
  • Following submission we will notify all of our registered contacts, and anyone else who requests to be notified, where and when the submission documents can be viewed.

Public Examination

At least six weeks before the examination starts we will:
  • Publish on our website the date, time and place where the examination is to be held, as well as the name of the person carrying out the examination;
  • Notify anyone who has made a comment during the publication stage.
Additional options we will consider:
  • Publicise as a news item on our website or via other electronic or social media methods e.g. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook;

Following public examination the Inspector may suggest changes to the Local Plan and further consultation for a duration of six weeks is normally required at this stage, and any representations will be considered by the Inspector and not the local planning authority.

Main modifications and additional consultations

What we will do:
  • Consult for the period prescribed by the Inspector;
  • Make consultation documents available and accessible on our website;
  • Notify anyone who has made a comment during the publication stage;
  • Make consultation documents available from our principal office;
Additional options we will consider:
  • Longer consultation period;
  • Notify registered contacts and Town/Parish Councils and Parish Meetings;
  • Notify specific consultation bodies e.g. local authorities;
  • Notify the Lake District National Park Partnership;
  • Publicise as a news item on our website or via other electronic or social media methods e.g. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook;
  • Make paper copies of consultation documents available at prescribed locations (such as libraries and Information Centres).

Publication of Inspector's recommendations

What we will do:
  • Publish the Inspector’s recommendations and reasons on our website;
  • Make the Inspector’s recommendations and reasons available at our principal office;
  • Give notice to anyone who requested to be notified of the publication of the recommendations that they are available.
Additional options we will consider:
  • Publicise as a news item on our website or via other electronic or social media methods e.g. Twitter and Facebook;
  • Notify registered contacts who have submitted representations.

Adoption

What we will do:
  • Publish the document and make it available at our principal office and on our website;
  • Publish an adoption statement and other supporting documents and make it available at our principal office and on our website;
  • Send a copy of the adoption statement to anyone who has asked to be notified of the adoption;
  • Publicise as a news item on our website or via other electronic or social media methods e.g. Twitter and Facebook.
Additional options we will consider:
  • Notify registered contacts who have submitted representations;
  • Issue a press release.

Consultation for Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), Statement of Community Involvement and other non-Local Plan documents

Preparation Stage

What we will do:
  • No specific requirements
Additional options we will consider:
  • Informal engagement with relevant stakeholders to agree the level of detail and identify key issues.

Draft Stage

What we will do:
  • Consult for a minimum of four weeks;
  • Notify appointed members of the National Park Authority;
  • Notify registered contacts and Town/Parish Councils and Parish Meetings;
  • Notify specific consultation bodies, relevant authorities, general consultation bodies, and the local policing body (as prescribed by Regulations);
  • Notify the Lake District National Park Partnership;
  • Make consultation documents available from our principle office;
  • Make consultation documents available in alternative formats on request;
  • Publicise and make consultation documents available and accessible on our website;
  • Consult for a minimum of four weeks;
  • Notify appointed members of the National Park Authority;
  • Notify registered contacts and Town/Parish Councils and Parish Meetings;
  • Notify specific consultation bodies, relevant authorities, general consultation bodies, and the local policing body (as prescribed by Regulations);
  • Notify the Lake District National Park Partnership;
  • Make consultation documents available from our principle office;
  • Make consultation documents available in alternative formats on request;
  • Publicise and make consultation documents available and accessible on our website;
  • Publicise as a news item on our website or via other electronic or social media methods e.g. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Additional options we will consider:
  • Longer consultation period;
  • Undertake further informal consultation stages;
  • Provide an online consultation tool for consultees and agents to make comments online;
  • Make paper copies of consultation documents available at prescribed locations (such as libraries and Information Centres);
  • Provide a covering letter or summary;
  • Issue a press release;
  • Provide an interactive online map;
  • Public exhibitions, or public meetings, or drop-in sessions aimed primarily at residents;
  • Engage with Local Area Committees and their support teams;
  • Engage with specific groups of the community as appropriate, e.g. drop in sessions with organisations;
  • Involvement of Councils and Councillors covering the National Park;
  • Notify neighbourhood publications;
  • Arrange special features in local newspapers and local radio;
  • Publicise the role of Planning Aid (see below);
  • Engage with specific groups through social media platforms e.g. Facebook groups, Instagram polls;
  • Virtual consultations and online webinars.

Adoption or Approval Stage

What we will do:
  • Consider the representations received through the consultation and make amendments necessary before adopting or approving;
  • Once adopted/approved publish the document and make it available at our principal office and on our website;
  • Once adopted/approved publish an adoption statement and other supporting documents and make it available at our principal office and on our website;
  • Send a copy of the adoption statement to anyone who has asked to be notified of the adoption.
Additional options we will consider:
  • Issue a press release;
  • Publicise as a news item on our website or via other electronic or social media methods e.g. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Giving feedback to consultees

After each stage of consultation, a report summarising the consultation carried out, the comments received from consultees, and our proposed changes will be published and made available on our website.

Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Plans are prepared and led by Parish and Town Councils or neighbourhood forums (a ‘qualifying body’), and when adopted become part of the Local Plan. During a Neighbourhood Plan’s preparation and before submission to us the ‘qualifying body’ must publicise the draft Neighbourhood Plan for at least six weeks and consult any of the consultation bodies whose interests it considers may be affected by the draft plan or order proposal. The production of Neighbourhood Plans is governed by additional regulation and as such Neighbourhood Plan consultation does not fall within the remit of this Statement of Community Involvement. However, to assist Neighbourhood Plan Groups we will, if requested, provide a list of contact details for relevant organisations to assist when publicising Plans.

Ensuring Equality

People have different needs and some people may need more or different resources to have access to the same outcomes as others. This statement recognises that some people face additional barriers and constraints, and that we need to assist people to have the ability to become more involved if they choose to whilst recognising that people will not want to be involved and make different choices. We have a Public Sector Duty to pay due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities.

We will:

  1. Seek to liaise with relevant colleagues at Councils covering the National Park on who to consult with. Particularly on the way we engage with individuals and groups who belong to a Community of Identity specifically identified as a protected characteristic by the Equality Act 2010.

    The protected characteristics are:

    • Age
    • Disability
    • Gender reassignment
    • Marriage and civil partnership
    • Pregnancy and maternity
    • Race
    • Religion and belief
    • Sex
    • Sexual orientation
  2. Consider detailed matters such as the timing of the event, type of venue, and whether the venue feels safe and accessible for consultation events;
  3. Ensure that all local development documents are available for free inspection at our principal office and other specified public libraries and information centres where appropriate;
  4. Ensure compliance with the provisions of the Lake District National Park Joint Equality Scheme;
  5. Ensure documents produced for consultation will be in easy to read, clear print standards and available on request in a variety of formats and languages wherever practicable and reasonable.

Planning Aid

Planning Aid England offers planning advice and support to individuals and communities. It offers five main services and types of support:

  • Free planning advice and guidance – website and advice line
  • Bespoke support for eligible individuals and communities
  • Outreach and capacity building
  • Neighbourhood Planning
  • Online resources and guides are available on the RTPI Planning Aid webpage.

Contact the team

The address of our principal office is:

Lake District National Park Authority,

Oxenholme Road, Murley Moss,

Kendal,

LA9 7RL.

For enquiries about planning policy or local development documents please email

localplan@lakedistrict.gov.uk, call 01539 724555, or visit the Planning pages on the Lake District National Park website.

Community Involvement and Consultation - Development Management

In 2021 we received over 2000 planning related applications. We are committed to effectively engaging interested parties in the Development Management process, including applicants, neighbours, parish representatives and statutory consultees.

Providing Planning Advice

We will provide a range of planning advice options, including making a duty planner available between 09:30-12:00 each working day to provide informal telephone advice.

Planning advice is available on the getting planning advice page on the Lake District National Park Authority website.

Where charges are payable for planning advice, we will make this clear on the Planning pages of the Lake District National Park Authority website.

We will encourage potential applicants to engage with neighbours and the local community before submitting an application (although we usually can’t insist that engagement takes place).

Publicising Applications

Publicity requirements are set by law and vary depending on the type of application. There are some application types where there are no publicity requirements, such as notice of intention and lawful development certificate applications.

We will publish a weekly list of all planning applications on the Planning application search tool page on the Lake District National Park website.

All applications for planning permission and listed building consent will be publicised with at least one of the following:

  • Site notice
  • Press notice
  • Neighbour notification letter

We will publicise all applications for planning permission and listed building consent by email or letter to the Town Council, Parish Councils or Parish Meeting for the parish that the site is in. Where a particular application may have more than local impacts, and we consider it appropriate or necessary to do so, we will consult neighbouring parish councils in addition to the immediate council.

We will consult statutory consultees (e.g. the Local Highway Authority) in accordance with our legal obligations.

All publicity and consultations will state the date by which when any representations should be made.

Comments on Applications

Anyone can comment on a current planning application. Comments must be made by email to planning@lakedistrict.gov.uk or in writing and should include your contact details.

We will take account of written comments we receive, including those received outside the notification periods set out in our publicity, provided that we receive them before we make a decision on the application.

Making Decisions

We will operate a Scheme of Delegation to ensure that more significant and controversial applications are decided by our Development Control Committee. Other applications will be decided under delegated powers. We will publish the Scheme of Delegation on our website. To view the Scheme of Delegation, visit the Scheme of Delegation Page on the Lake District National Park Authority website.

Where an application is to be considered by the Development Control Committee, we will provide an opportunity for people to make verbal representations. We will publish our Policy for Public Speaking at Meetings on our website. To view the Public Attendance and Speaking at Committee Meetings policy, visit the Speaking at Committee Meetings page on the Lake District National Park Authority website.

Publicising Decisions

Once an application has been decided, we will publish the outcome and decision notice (where applicable) on our website. We will publish a weekly list of planning decisions on our website. To view the weekly list of planning decisions, visit the weekly list page on the Lake District National Park Authority website.

Publicising Planning Appeals

Planning Appeals are administered on behalf of the Secretary of State by the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate manages the appeal process, and an independent Inspector will decide the appeal. When an appeal is lodged, we will send notification letters to any person who made representations on the application on behalf of the Planning Inspectorate. If there is an opportunity to make further comments to the Planning Inspectorate we will state when those comments must be made by.

Ensuring Planning Compliance

We will publish our planning compliance, monitoring and enforcement policies on our website. To view the compliance, monitoring and enforcement policies, visit the compliance and enforcement page on the Lake District National Park Authority website. These policies will set out our approach to the investigation of alleged breaches of planning control, and (as appropriate) our customer service standards and targets for doing so.

Contact the team

You can contact us with enquiries about development management by phone, email or in person. Further information about how and when to contact us can be found on our website: Getting planning advice: Lake District National Park

The address of our principle office is:

Lake District National Park Authority,

Oxenholme Road, Murley Moss,

Kendal,

LA9 7RL.

Telephone: 01539 724555

Email: planning@lakedistrict.gov.uk