Upcoming Pre-application Community Engagement (PACE) Forums

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, we’re unable to provide a safe environment for face-to-face Pre-application Community Engagement Forums.  Officers are currently reviewing options for working with local councils and developers on community engagement.

Future Forums will be published on this page.

PACE Forums are not running at present.  We are looking at different ways to engage with local communities with:

  • local councils and
  • developers.

Applicants and agents should continue to contact the relevant local council to seek the views of local residents. Please have a look at the Cornwall Planning Partnership webpage. It contains some guidance to help local councils and developers work together.

Key points for local residents

The purpose of a PACE Forum is:

  • to enable the developer to explain the proposals directly to Members, the Local Council and local residents 
  • to identify any issues that may be considered in any formal application
  • to inform Members and the public of a development  proposal at an early stage in the pre-application process
  • to inform officer pre-application discussions with the developer
  • to enable the developer to shape an application to address community issues

The Forum is not meant to:

  • negotiate the proposal in public
  • commit Members or the local planning authority to a view
  • allow objectors to frustrate the process
  • address or identify all the issues that will need to be considered in a future planning application
  • take the place of the normal application process or the Planning Committee

The outcome of the Forum will be:

  • Local residents will be able to help shape the proposed development
  • The developer will have a list of main points to consider
  • Stakeholders and public will be aware of proposals
  • Members will be better informed on significant  planning issues
  • Officers will be informed as to community expectations during their pre-application negotiations with developers

Attendees can speak at the Forums with a limit of three minutes allowed per speaker. Speakers must make a new point or emphasis with no duplication.

The formal Forum part of a public engagement event will take place between the times stated. 

There will also be the opportunity to view information on the proposal and speak informally to the developers immediately before and after the Forum.

Written comments received at a Forum will be forwarded to developers with the feedback from the event. If residents wish to make comments after the forum, these must be made directly to the developer and not the Local Planning Authority (LPA). This is due to the fact that the potential development is at the pre-application stage not full application stage.

Please note:

  • PACE Forums are not suitable for all applications - they work best for:
    • strategic major
    • compex or contentious minor schemes

When a full application is received, comments can be made directly to the LPA through the usual processes.

How the Forum works

The amount of information communicated at a Forum is up to the developer and applicant.  Some developers may:

  • wish to hold a Forum at an early stage to be able to seek community views almost on a ‘blank canvas’ for a site
  • present detailed information including advanced designs.

PACE Forums are held in public and include:

  • the relevant Planning Committee Members
  • local Member(s)
  • local council
  • planning case officer
  • local residents.

PACE Forums are publicised by:

  • invitation letters to neighbours who would normally be consulted on a planning application
  • site notice at the site or forum venue
  • council website.

Commenting at a Forum

All attendees can speak at the Forums with a maximum of 3 minutes allowed per speaker.  There is no need to register to speak. Speakers must make a new point or emphasis.

We provide hard copy feedback forms for written comments. But these can only be used at the event.  Officers will include these in the issues raised at the Forum.  The developers can then take account of any points made in any subsequent discussions about the proposal.  A PACE Forum will not affect any rights to make representations when a formal planning application is submitted.

The role of Members at the Forum is to:

  • listen
  • understand the issues
  • ask questions and
  • offer advice rather than voice opinions on a proposal. 

Please note:

  • The Forum is not meant to allow one party’s comments to dominate the debate. 
  • Disruptive behaviour can include:
    • shouting
    • interrupting speakers and not allowing points to be made.
  • We will ask any member of the public who is disruptive to leave.

Running order

The Chair will introduce the Forum and explain:

  • who is going to speak
  • the order of speakers and
  • the rules that the meeting will follow.

Order of events:

  1. Planning case officer provides a background to the proposal including planning history and planning policies
  2. Any local Neighbourhood Plan Group then has the option to present the local policy situation
  3. The developer will explain the proposal (this may involve contributions from several people)
  4. Attendees can:
    • speak
    • ask questions and
    • raise any issues, observations and comments
  5. The developer has an opportunity to respond to what has been said by attendees
  6. The case officer summarises the main points raised during the Forum 
  7. The Chair will close the Forum

As well as the formal Forum part of the engagement event, there will usually be the opportunity for residents to:

  • view information on the proposal and
  • speak to the developers immediately before or after the formal Forum.

Recording a Forum -  please note:

  • The Council has to legally allow filming for formal meetings
  • PACE Forums are not formal meetings
  • The Council does not have the power to dictate that filming be prohibited.

If the developer wishes to prohibit filming by the public then their wishes should be announced at the commencement of the meeting by the Chair.

What happens after the Forum

The main points raised are recorded and clarified as the meeting progresses. At the end of the meeting we will summarise the main issues. This will help the developer decide how they wish to proceed.  This will inform both:

  • pre-application advice
  • future planning applications.

More information can be accessed using these links:

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