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Residential – Strategic Land

Client Problem

  • Our client owned a large site on the edge of a town but in a village setting on the South Coast.  Whilst the site was not formally allocated within the local plan, it was recognised as an area for future development
  • The client had aspirations to achieve consent for approximately 300 homes, offices and light industrial development and even made provision for a one form entry primary school
  • The client anticipated significant opposition to any proposal as previous attempts to develop on their site prior to their ownership had been thwarted by the locals.  In addition, they suspected officers could be against them as well

Our Approach

  • Starting with a research phase, we identified the likely community and political opponents, in addition to possible supporters and advocates.  Through this research, we tested messaging that could resonate and proposed a range of possible strategies to generate support
  • At the outset we engaged the local media and generated some positive press coverage in advance of breaking cover.  We met with a range of local opinion formers and stakeholders in advance
  • Through engagement with local businesses, the local doctors’ surgery and other less directly affected residents, we built a small but vocal supporter group to counter the opposition group that inevitably formed
  • Through the client’s willingness to respond to concerns and criticism in what was considered locally as genuine public consultation, we were able to move opponents to a neutral position and generate support through positively explaining the changes being proposed on the door step
  • Over the course of the application we also assisted in positively shaping and influencing an initially hostile officer group through media article placement on land supply issues and letters to the editor as well as strategic member engagement

Result

  • The application faced opposition from the local ward members from the outset, had a very active local opposition group formed against it but we were able to still win the planning committee over by eight votes to four


“Buy land; they’re not making it any more.”
Mark Twain, American author and humourist, 1835-1910

Residential – Strategic Land

Client Problem Our client owned a large site on the edge of a town but in a village setting on the South Coast.  Whilst the site was not formally allocated within the local plan, it was recognised as an area for future development The client had aspirations to achieve consent for approximately 300 homes, offices […]