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Retail – Shopping Centre

Client Problem

  • The ‘jewel in the crown’ of our client’s new investment portfolio was an out-of-town shopping centre in the West Midlands
  • Our client had ambitious plans to expand the shopping centre but national planning policy (sequential test) was against them
  • In addition, the surrounding local authorities and local media were opposed fearing the impact on their own town/city centres

Our Approach

  • We completed an intelligence gathering exercise and created a strategy to achieve the client’s objectives
  • Central to that was a plan to designate our client’s shopping centre as the new town centre to circumvent the national policy objection
  • To achieve this, over a two year period we brought sub-regional politicians onside through an extensive meeting schedule exposing the client to the council leaders and chief executives of the three neighbouring councils
  • We managed to place the senior client contact on the regional development board, eventually leading to the client chairing the regional body
  • We ensured the client was personally fully networked into the regional and local political community so that he became ‘part of the furniture’
  • We proposed and achieved adoption of a sub-regional strategy giving each of the four local authorities a USP.  Our USP was, unsurprisingly, ‘retail’
  • We helped establish a local regeneration partnership in the locality specifically so our client could fund its operation and provide it with offices, staff etc.  The partnership acted as the local advocate for the client’s aspirations due to its local regenerative impact

Result

  • The local authority unanimously passed the client’s plans to expand their shopping centre
  • The sub-regional politicians welcomed the proposals and endorsed them, leading to the Secretary of State to not call-in the application
  • The client’s approach to planning was acknowledged nationally and helped them become one of highest profile shopping centre operators and developers in the UK today


“…and your prejudices won’t keep you warm tonight.”
From What Difference Does It Make by The Smiths, 1984

Retail – Shopping Centre

Client Problem The ‘jewel in the crown’ of our client’s new investment portfolio was an out-of-town shopping centre in the West Midlands Our client had ambitious plans to expand the shopping centre but national planning policy (sequential test) was against them In addition, the surrounding local authorities and local media were opposed fearing the impact […]