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Case Studies

Altira Park, Herne Bay

Client: Urban & Civic
LPA: Canterbury City Council

  • Our team helped to secure planning permission for a large new Sainsbury’s, business units and a petrol filling station at Altira Park in Herne Bay.
  • A grass roots approach was adopted to promoting the project in order to overcome initial resistance to the project at a strategic level.
  • It was crucial to build important relationships, listen to local people and work with them to deal with any concerns and ensure that the benefits of the proposals would be maximised.
  • Our approach demonstrated an 86% approval rating for the proposals from the local community and secured the support of the local business community and politicians.
  • At Planning Committee, members considered that the local business community was best placed to judge the potential impacts and benefits that the proposals would deliver and voted unanimously to approve the scheme.

Teddington Riverside

Client: Haymarket Media Group
LPA: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

  • Our team was brought on-board to support the redevelopment of Teddington Studios for over 200 new homes.
  • There was sensitivity around the riverside location, political issues around the level of affordable housing and legacy issues relating to the historic use of the Studios.
  • A compelling case was developed around the need to redevelopment the site and keep Haymarket in the Borough as a major employer.
  • Early and ongoing engagement with councillors, GLA members and the local MP helped to identify and manage political issues.
  • Local support for the proposals was secured by consulting with and listening to the local community.
  • The Planning Committee approved the proposals, despite the approach to affordable housing not being policy compliant.
  • The approach to consultation also helped to safeguard Haymarket’s reputation and maintain and promote their on-going positive relationships with key local figures and the community.

Ganger Farm, Romsey

Client: Barratt David Wilson
LPA: Test Valley Borough Council

  • Our team supported the redevelopment of a former Pick Your Own site in Romsey for 275 new homes and sports facilities.
  • There was latent opposition to any further development in the town, which had recently experienced a number of large scale development proposals and had an allocation in the emerging Local Plan for a further 1,200 new homes.
  • Our advice was to focus on garnering political and community support for the principle of the development through focussing on the scheme’s key benefit; the creation of a much needed community sports hub.
  • Crucially, the housing numbers needed to support the proposals were not a feature of the first round of engagement as they were an unknown quantity at that stage.
  • The response from the local community was one of overwhelming support and so, by the time the second round of consultation launched – announcing the number of new homes – the development had already been broadly accepted by the local community and councillors.
  • The scheme was supported unanimously by the Planning Committee.

Hampden Fields, Aylesbury, Bucks

Client: Taylor Wimpey Strategic
LPA: Aylesbury Vale District Council

  • Our team is currently working with Taylor Wimpey Strategic on the promotion of a 219Ha site for up to 3,000 new homes alongside substantial infrastructure. The greenfield site comprises predominantly agricultural land between two medium sized villages.
  • Early and ongoing engagement has been crucial in order to build constructive relationships with key strategic and local politicians. This has enabled us to deal with concerns from the outset and build a positive case for the strategic allocation of the site.
  • The site is proposed to be allocated for 3,000 homes in the emerging Local Plan, despite widescale objection. A planning application has been submitted and we are continuing to engage locally to secure a positive resolution at Committee.

Warwick Quadrant, Redhill Town Centre

Client: Sainsbury’s
LPA: Reigate and Banstead Borough Council

  • DevComms is currently providing communications support throughout the delivery phase of the Warwick Quadrant Regeneration project in Redhill.
  • The scheme is a joint venture between Sainsbury’s, Aviva Investors and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. It will deliver a new Sainsbury’s supermarket, Travelodge hotel, ‘The Gym Group’ gym and significant public realm improvements.
  • The Warwick Quadrant site is situated at a prominent gateway location in the town centre, immediately adjacent to commercial offices, Redhill Library and the Harlequin Theatre, and directly opposite residential areas.
  • Given the nature and location of the project, there are a wide range of external stakeholders to engage with, including local residents, local businesses, local media, Redhill Library and the Harlequin Theatre, as well as all relevant leading and local politicians.
  • Careful media management has been extremely important to ensure that the wider community is kept informed about the scheme and that the potential for positive press coverage is maximised. This has included press releases and site tours, as well as ongoing dialogue with journalists.
  • In addition to this media engagement, a range of other communications methods have been employed to ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed, including:
    • Quarterly update newsletter issued to approximately 500 households and businesses situated in the vicinity of the site;
    • Letters to site neighbours to advise of upcoming works;
    • Creation and management of a dedicated Twitter account providing regular and real-time updates to the local community;
    • Project phone line and email address, listed on all communications materials, providing a convenient method of contact for the local community;
    • Project website, with the Twitter feed embedded, providing detailed information about the redevelopment.

Mill Springs, Whitchurch

Client: Barratt David Wilson Homes
LPA: Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council  

  • Our team assisted Barratt David Wilson in the promotion of a greenfield site through the Whitchurch Neighbourhood Plan Process.
  • We engaged with the key Neighbourhood Plan decision makers and members of the local community to understand the key issues and requirements for the Neighbourhood Plan and town.
  • The initial engagement enabled a compelling case to be developed for the development of 100 new homes alongside new sports pitches and a school bus drop-off point. This strong case, alongside strategic engagement, resulted in the allocation of the site in the Draft Whitchurch Neighbourhood Plan at the Regulation 14 consultation stage.
  • Due to a speculative application from a competitor, an outline planning application was submitted in advance of the Neighbourhood Plan progressing beyond Regulation 14 consultation stage.
  • Through ongoing public and political engagement, all substantive issues were resolved prior to Committee stage and the outline proposals were approved, with all but one member supporting the proposals.
  • We also provided strategic communications support on the Reserve Matters planning application and through ongoing engagement with all parties secured a unanimous approval at planning committee in March 2017.
  • One of the local ward members and Town Councillors spoke in support of the application at the planning committee and offered the consultation process undertaken on the application as an example of best practice.