You have a legal right (and a social responsibility) to comment on development planning arrangements proposed by the Borough council that affect you and your community. See our consultations page for the consultation timetable, online links and public consultation dates.
The NAAG wants everyone who has an opinion on this issue to have a voice, to be heard and to believe their views have been taken on board by the local authority, its councillors and its officers.
Your rights are outlined in a Development Plan Document called the “Statement of Community Involvement” (SCI). It explains how and when Bracknell Forest will inform you and gather opinion during the preparation and review of development plan documents.
There are several ways:
Your replies are called “representations”. The Council will encourage you to use paper or online forms, however, you may contact the council in ANY written format including email, fax or letter as ALL must be accepted and taken into account.
To make a representation:
The council has given you 6 weeks (the legal minimum timescale) for this major planning document.
Not being a planning expert, you don’t have long to research, understand and comment. We’ve designed these pages to bring together as much information as possible, but it is only here to help you, you will need to access as much information you can for yourself.
In its own guidance, the Council says: “We want to ensure that all comments on the Participation Document focus on planning issues. We have tried to list the matters we can and cannot take into account to assist in compiling responses on the document. Particularly when handling a sensitive and potentially controversial subject it is important that responses are carefully written, concentrate on planning issues and avoid any form of offensiveness to a particular racial or ethnic group.”
|Matters that can be taken into account||Matters that cannot be taken into account|
|Conflict with planning policy||Devaluation of property|
|Effect on character of an area, including landscape and trees||Loss of view|
|Effect on setting of a Listed Building or character of a Conservation Area||Possibility of future problems (e.g. proposed use)|
|Effect on important environmental areas such as wildlife sites, Special Protection Areas and Sites of Special Scientific Importance||Business/competition issues|
|Flood risk/drainage effects||Contended legal rights e.g. ownership|
|Contamination/pollution issues||Covenants attached to the site|
|Traffic generation, access and road safety||Whether intended user is liked/disliked|
|Availability of infrastructure, e.g. schools and roads|
|Loss of current land use|
|Competing land uses for the site|
Before any planning documents can be adopted, they must be reviewed by an Independent Planning Inspector to ensure they are “sound”. To be sound the documents must show “good judgement” and are “able to be trusted” as accurate and meeting need.
Remember, “local authorities are staffed by people who do not always know the community well, they don’t have the opportunity to meet residents and they don’t always live in the areas affected by the decisions they make“, so clearly the evidence base must be looked at carefully. Let us be responsible residents and help them.
The inspector will be seeking your views on the following issues.
Although your represenations do NOT always have to be related to “tests of soundness”, it helps to strengthen the argument against the plan if you can show why the document does not show good judgement or is inaccurate and what changes you think are needed to make it sound.