Involving communities is an essential element of a responsible, inclusive and democratic planning system. Effective engagement depends upon communities having access, at the earliest opportunity, to as much information about a development proposal and its likely impact.
An important element of this engagement is providing opportunities for the community to provide feedback about proposals. In this way communities can help shape developments that affect them as well as minimise or mitigate any negative impacts.
Section 2 of the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 requires the Department to prepare and publish a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) covering aspects of planning control that the Department has responsibility for (contained in Part 3 of the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011). This Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) is a document which sets out how the Department will engage with the community in the delivery of its planning functions.
*The Department of the Environment was dissolved on 8th May 2016 and the Department of Infrastructure came into being. References in the SCI to the Department of the Environment should be read as the Department for Infrastructure.