Greens object to Council plans to reduce planning consultations
15th June 2014
Sheffield City Council are planning to reduce the number of letters it sends out informing residents about local planning applications.The Greens have objected to this saying the consultation should involve more residents, especially if the plans will mean competition for local shops or will increase the demand for parking outside peoples homes. We have proposed that the number of proprties sent a letter should be extended by 8 properties either side of the site. We also want an additional email system to alert residents interested in planning matters of applications with a nearby postcode.
In response to the consultation on the Statement of Community Involvement, please find below the following response on behalf of Sheffield Green Party.
Regarding Neighbour notification and site notices.
The Green Party strongly objects to any reduction in neighbour notification via letter, in particular the proposed reduction in the number of properties either side of a development that are to be notified as part of a wider notification. Notification via letter remains the most effective means of alerting the local community to a planning development and is a regular concern voiced to councillors. Sheffield Green Party proposes that neighbour notification should be extended up to 8 properties neighbouring the application site and those directly opposite.
The Green Party is concerned that the list of developments that would trigger a wider consultation is limited. Where new development has a potential for impact upon community this needs to include potential impact upon local shops or businesses that residents may rely upon. It should include developments that are likely to generate significant community interest. Therefore, the threshold for wider neighbour notification should be reached for a greater range of developments, for example: a proposal for a local shopping development that could impact on existing shops; a proposal for a car parking scheme that could impact on parking availability in surrounding streets.
The Green Party strongly supports improvements in the visibility and use of site notices.
The Green Party proposes extending the notification via email of residents who have registered an interest in local planning applications. An email alert service that Sheffield residents could sign up to based on postcode (for example, S1 1xx, S13 8xx) would be a means of effectively communicating with many residents who are concerned about local planning development. Whilst this would not reach many in disadvantaged communities, it would have a potential to reach active members of those communities. A planning alert service would improve communication and could be set at a lower threshold than that for wider consultations, being utilised for all developments that, for example, involve change of planning use or construction of new residences/business space.