Increasing certainty and transparency on effective co-operation in plan making
Under the 2018 NPPF all local planning authorities have a requirement to produce, maintain and keep up to date a Statement of Common Ground (SCG) to highlight agreement on cross boundary strategic issues with neighbouring authorities and other relevant organisations.
After working with over 50 authorities across a range of groups, we have produced a draft advice note and template to help local authorities to produce a SCG.
We hope that this note and template will help local authorities to prepare their statements but we would welcome thoughts or comments on the template.
It should be adapted to individual needs and used as a prompt to ensure that the relevant information is included.
The SCG should increase certainty and transparency, earlier on in the plan-making process, on where effective co-operation is and is not happening, highlight the cross boundary strategic planning matters in authorities’ local plans, the timetable for gaining agreement, and on completion all relevant organisations giving signed agreement on the required issues.
The note and template is structured against the SCG requirements of:
Parties involved: the LPAs and other strategic bodies engaged in the statement
Signatories: highlight where agreements have not been reached,
Strategic geography: in a map with description and justification of the area,
Strategic matters: including housing requirement and distribution, key infrastructure requirements, relationships to other strategic issues,
Governance arrangements: how the statement has been agreed or will be agreed and kept up-to-date
Time table for agreement, review and update: as related to LPAs local plan timetables