COUNCILS are giving the community the chance to have its say on future planning policy and local development.

Residents, businesses and other stakeholders are being urged to give their feedback for West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Councils first joint Statement of Community Involvement.

The policy will set out how the councils will involve local communities and other interested parties on a range of planning matters.

Leader of West Dorset District Council Robert Gould said: “There are clear benefits to making sure the district council engages effectively with its communities and other planning stakeholders on planning issues, including having good quality information on which to base decisions and being able to identify and resolve areas of conflict before proposals have been adopted.

“We would like people to read through the draft Statement of Community Involvement and let us know whether they think it gives enough information about how our planning service works and whether we are taking the right approach to planning engagement.“

Chairman of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council's management committee Mike Goodman added: “Planning affects everyone who lives, works and visits our area and the borough council is committed to ensuring the needs and aspirations of our communities are considered.

“The draft Statement of Community Involvement sets out how we aim to do this but by definition we need to know what our communities and partners think of the policy first.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in the future development of their area to take part in this consultation.”

To have your say visit before Thursday, April 17.

Copies of the draft document are also available for inspection at the council offices and comments can be emailed to