Headlines: April 14th, 2008

Birmingham City Council cabinet members are today expected to approve a Statement of Community Involvement for the planning process. The document is thought to be the first of its kind to detail how and when local people can get involved in every stage of the planning process and influence decisions.

The document has already been through several consultation stages with comments being invited from the draft stage onwards. It was made available in public libraries and neighbourhood offices and via the authority’s website. It has also been advertised in newspapers in the city. The final document has been submitted to the Secretary of State and been considered by an independent Planning Inspector.

If, as expected, it is adopted today it will form part of the Council’s Local development Framework and all future Local Development Documents will conform to it.

Clive Dutton, the Director of Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council, said the statement was a progressive document which encouraged communities to become involved in the planning process. “It also sets out the local authority’s planning strategy on how and at what stages people can directly influence preparation and revision of Birmingham’s Local Development Framework,” he said adding, “It’s an exciting move forward in local people working even more closely with the council’s planning department to achieve successful outcomes for our city’s planning future.”