This engagement from the citizen in the planning development process has enabled the LDP team to more fully consider the planning needs, desires and aspirations of many aspects of their community who traditionally would not or could not have engaged with them. The result is a better-informed plan preparation process which fully serves the planning needs of citizens.
They objective is to facilitate enhanced communication between citizens and planning officials across key aspects of the planning function to allow:
- Early and effective bespoke engagement opportunities as part of the preparation of the LDP with innovative use of Council website.
- Early and effective bespoke engagement opportunities in seeking citizen feedback to certain planning applications, which because of their size, location and District importance, it is considered important to offer enhanced opportunities over and above that set out in planning legislation.
- An overall desire to promote planning as a key enabling tool to deliver a sustainable regeneration of all areas, and one that is open, transparent and communicative.
Both Planning Team and Councillors have been trained as to the aims and objectives of IMPROVE project and would serve as Local Champions in this regard advocating the benefits of the project within the LDP process.
The expected impact of this co-production service of the Council is:
- They seek to remove public perception that Planning is confrontational and complicated, and officials are hard to contact and not interest in public feedback.
- The project promotion has pushed the LDP process to the top of the Planning website of the Council in terms of most viewed.
- Citizens have freely engaged in all aspects of key planning topics and sent their comments to their bespoke site as they seek to gather evidence prior to the publication of the next milestone publication in the LDP process – the Preferred Options Paper (POP) in early Summer 2017.
- This interactive approach will facilitate more citizen buy-in and a less confrontation Independent Examination when the draft Plan Strategy is published.
- The participation of planning counterparts from County Donegal (Ireland) also permits them to freely engage with them as they seek to deliver sustainable and joined up planning thinking for the NW region.
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