There is an urgent need to rebuild trust between communities and the planning process. Local people often feel excluded from decisions that affect them most and perceive planning to be complex, technical and designed to bewilder.
But people have a clear legal right to be involved in the planning process—and their participation and local knowledge can immeasurably improve the quality of new development.
There are no quick fixes to securing meaningful public participation, but there are significant opportunities to engage honestly and openly over the location, design and delivery of new communities.
This practical guide provides an overview of the policy requirements, background principles and current practices for securing effective public participation. It emphasises the need to move beyond passive and tokenistic consultation to a genuine sharing of power and responsibility, highlighting good practice and the vital role of local people in good development.