Views on public engagement in the planning process

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Scarborough Borough Council is looking to seek the views of local residents and businesses on how it could improve its methods of public engagement in relation to the planning process.

The council already uses a number of recognised methods of statutory consultation, but following the adoption of the borough's new Local Plan last year and public comments made during the plans development about the complexity of responding to consultations, the council is keen to review the methods it uses. The council wants to find out how it can make it easier for members of the public to engage with the planning process and have their say.

The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) sets out how the council currently involves the community in its planning decisions and how consultation and engagement takes place when the council prepares new planning policy documents. The current SCI can be viewed at and the following list is a summary of previously used engagement techniques:

  • Exhibitions and drop-in sessions
  • Contacting all persons on the consultation database by letter or email
  • Contacting all town and parish councils, providing posters for display on their noticeboards and attending their council meetings
  • Issuing news releases to encourage coverage articles in local press and broadcast media
  • Making all information available at local libraries and council offices
  • Updating the council’s website with the latest information
  • Raising awareness on social media
  • Enabling responses to be sent by letter, email or by submitting comments on the online consultation portal

Steve Wilson, Forward Planning Manager said:

"We already use a variety of different ways when consulting with the public on planning matters but we are looking for suggestions on how this can be improved. For example, how can we widen our reach to those not registered with the Local Plan database, and is there a greater role for the use of technology and online platforms."

Ideas for practical suggestions to help improve engagement with the planning process can be emailed to or submitted via direct message on the council's Facebook page. Those without online access can write to Forward Planning, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2HG.

Anyone wanting to be added to the Local Plan consultee database should email a request to