City Corporation adopts new policy to boost community engagement on planning matters

The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee has formally agreed a new approach to how engagement and consultation will take place with the Square Mile’s communities on planning and policy matters.

The decision follows a 3-month public consultation period for both the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and new Developer Engagement Guidance (DEG). With the City Corporation’s proposed approach receiving broad support from those who responded to the consultation, the bar will now be raised for developers engaging with local communities at the pre-application stage and throughout the planning and development process. 

The DEG encourages developers to consult with local communities ahead of taking their proposals forward by submitting a formal planning application, ensuring that local concerns are considered at an early stage in the design of new schemes. The revised SCI replaces one previously agreed in July 2016 and incorporates lessons learned during the pandemic. These include new and innovative ways that the City Corporation will communicate with stakeholders that bring the consultation and engagement process into the modern age.

Both the City Corporation and developers will now be required to make provision for online and hybrid meetings and consultation events, as well as use new presentational techniques such as 3D modelling and QR codes. These will be utilised alongside more traditional methods to increase engagement in planning matters.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, Shravan Joshi, said:

“The City is home to a diverse range of communities and their involvement has helped to ensure our Statement of Community Involvement will reflect the needs of all those involved throughout the planning process.

“This new Statement of Community Involvement will play a key role in shaping how we will engage with all the City’s stakeholders, including businesses, residents and developers.

“Importantly, it embeds the lessons we have learned during the pandemic by encouraging innovative forms of engagement and consultation that can be more effective at reaching certain groups.”