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Pre-application community engagement

The Pre-application Community Engagement (PACE) process is available for applicants and agents entering into Planning Performance Agreements and submitting pre-application enquiries. The aim is to bring together the community, the Local Member, interested parties and developers in order to engage the community at the earliest possible stage.

As part of measures to ensure greater community engagement and involvement in new developments in Cornwall, the Council has decided to introduce options for developers as part of the pre-application process offered by this Service. Planning case officers will advise applicants and developers on the most appropriate form of community engagement for their proposal; this advice will form part of all pre-application discussions.

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Case officers will recommend one of three options for community engagement:

  • Level 1 (Full Committee) Pre-application Community Engagement (PACE) Forum – this level of pre-application forum is for strategic major schemes that would be considered by the Strategic Planning Committee.
  • Level 2 PACE Forum – this level of engagement is suitable for items that would likely be considered by the Area Planning Committees.   
  • Community Engagement facilitated by the Local Council – the case officer could recommend that community engagement led by the Local Council would be appropriate for a proposal. The developer approaches the Local Council to facilitate a community engagement event.  The Cornwall Planning Partnership produced guidance for Local Councils, Cornwall Council and developers on working together on pre-app discussions.  These can be found on the Cornwall Planning Partnership webpage.

More information including Planning fees and charges is available on the Pre-application advice webpages including the new Community Engagement webpage dedicated to publicising upcoming community engagement forums and events. 

The Council encourages community engagement and the value in seeking the views of local people at the earliest stage should not be underestimated. Local issues and concerns will be made known that could then be addressed before the planning application is formalised. The changes made to schemes to accommodate local issues and concerns are likely to be material considerations that will be taken into account and given weight in the planning application process.

Our first Level 1 Forum received excellent feedback and the applicant said, "This was a great way for us to engage directly with the local community and we're grateful to the Council for facilitating their first ever PACE event ...". More details of the successful event at Carbis Bay are available on the Business Cornwall website.