New rules have been introduced by a council to make sure residents are consulted on the planning applications that affect them.

At a full council meeting of Hertsmere Borough Council last week, councillors voted to update the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) to encourage residents to be involved in planning.

The SCI, which was first published in 2006, has been changed to mean that consultation on applications over 50 dwellings or 5,000 square metres non-residential floor space will be determined on the basis of the number of properties within a radius of the application site.

Another change is to increase the use of social media and other council communication mechanisms regarding planning applications.

Developers will also be required to set out details of how they have consulted with the local community as part of the information to be included in the planning application.

Councillor Harvey Cohen, portfolio holder for planning and localism, said: "The council already meets and exceeds its statutory obligations on public consultation on planning issues, but we want to do all we can to ensure we engage with the public on matters that they feel strongly about and have every opportunity to have their say proactively and before any key decisions are made."

The council post a weekly list of planning applications on Facebook.