Northumberland County Council has run a facebook forum to widen consultation on its Local Plan Core Strategy looking at housing, employment and green belt policies. Consultation for the plan closes on Jan 2.
The document contains detailed evidence on the level of development needed in the county to ensure that it can thrive economically, while protecting its special environmental qualities.
To encourage residents, businesses and organisations to play an active role in the consultation process, which began at the end of October, the council has used a number of communication channels including twelve drop in and workshop events, a stakeholder event, news media and a social media campaign.
As part of this comprehensive programme of activity a facebook forum was held earlier this month where members of the public could ask questions and raise queries on the consultation process in real time.
The forum was held on the council’s facebook profile and questions were answered by members of the council’s planning policy team. The forum received 30 comments within the webchat period and two after the event.
Councillor Allan Hepple, policy board member responsible for planning said: “Northumberland is one of the leading councils when it comes to social media and as part of the local communications plan we wanted to utilise our strong social media channels to engage with local people.
“The plan is well evidenced and the information we have gathered shows we need more affordable and good quality homes for working families if we are to ensure that Northumberland is economically viable into the future.