Thursday, 03 April 2014 at 2:00PM
Rhyl Pavilion, Rhyl, Denbighshire LL18 3AQ, UK
Community engagement has long been a key part of the planning process but it hasn’t always worked well and is often distrusted by the public and seen as an obstacle by developers. People affected by planning decisions sometimes feel disenfranchised and regard consultation as merely a process to be carried out in order to arrive at a decision. Developers are perceived as regarding community involvement as an irritation and yet another hurdle in a bureaucratic, time consuming and costly exercise.
Nonetheless public participation is, and will remain, a major element in a planning system that is in a state of almost constant change as it adapts to new legislation, regulation and political direction. The Planning Bill is aimed very much at culture change with development management being ‘front loaded’ with a greater emphasis on pre application negotiations and community engagement. The same applies to the plan making process.
How then can engagement be made more effective and meaningful and at what point or points should it occur?
This event aims to look at good practice, identifying what works well and what doesn’t, the different ways in which local communities can be engaged, the tools that are available, and who the planning system should be reaching out to.
To help us we have Margaret Wilkinson, previously with the former Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation which pioneered ‘Planning for Real’, who now runs the successor Planning for Real Unit for the Accord Group. Margaret has a wealth of experience throughout the UK and recently worked alongside Denbighshire and local people in Bodelwyddan about a major development in their area. Angela Loftus from the County Council, will give us the local authority’s view on this initiative.
The event will be very much ‘hands on’ and as usual active participation from all those attending will be encouraged with opportunity for discussion, exchange of experiences and opinions.