Published on

4 September 2023

Shaping how we involve you in planning issues

Residents are encouraged to give their views on how the council should consult them when deciding how land in the borough should be used

An aerial view of a newly built community with housing, roads, paths, roundabouts and green spaces

Everyone who lives or works in Wokingham Borough can help to ensure they have a say in all aspects of how its land is used.

The council is now seeking feedback on its draft Statement of Community Involvement, which sets out how it will involve people in a range of planning matters and decisions for many years to come.

This includes any updates to its Local Plan, a long-term strategy that guides the borough’s future development - including how sites for new housing and accompanying infrastructure should be allocated.

The consultation closes at 5pm on Monday, 16 October, and anyone wishing to find out more or share their views should visit the Engage Wokingham Borough page.

 Have your say

A key part of the bigger planning picture

The draft Statement of Community Involvement sets out when and how people can help the council to prepare strategic planning documents and policies, including the Local Plan, as well as how they can give feedback on individual planning applications. 

It also covers how the council will support communities in producing their own neighbourhood plans, how it will tell people about new applications and invite their comments, how people will be able to report breaches of planning policy and more.

It is similar in principle to the existing Statement of Community Involvement, but proposes extending the consultation period for major planning applications from the 21-day statutory minimum to 28 days. This will give more time for residents and others who might be affected to read the full details and respond.

It will play a key role when the council revises its Local Plan, which currently covers the 2006 - 2026 period but must look further ahead to meet local housing need and Government requirements. Further announcements are expected in due course.

Have your say at the earliest stage

Cllr Lindsay Ferris, executive member for planning and local plan, said: “It’s easy to say nothing until you see a planning application that might affect you, but you can get involved at a much earlier stage in the planning process and we strongly encourage everyone to take an interest.

“Our Statement of Community Involvement will help to ensure, among other things, that you have a say in important and fundamental questions like how development should be managed and the sites that are allocated to support this chosen approach.

“There’ll be more opportunities to give feedback as we move our Local Plan forward, but the Statement of Community Involvement will agree the framework for how we work with you. We want to make sure we get this right and ensure that any future decisions are truly reflective of your views.”

All comments will be carefully considered before a final draft Statement of Community Involvement is prepared for the council’s decision-making executive to consider towards the end of the year.

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