Planning and public affairs
We save developers and businesses time and money by delivering communications campaigns that help projects win planning consent at the first hearing.
Planning applications can spark a lot of emotions, some positive, but often negative as people affected by the proposed development fear the changes it will bring. Often, however, what they really want is reassurance and the chance to be heard.
This is where a robust and well-planned public consultation process brings immense value. Educating local communities about the realities and facts of a development is usually the most effective way of quelling objections. It stops myths and half-truths circulating, and gives people the opportunity to air their views, which is often all they want to do.
A good public consultation process will pay dividends with elected officials as well. By addressing the concerns of affected communities, parish and ward councillors and local MPs are likely to face far fewer letters of complaint about your development and your company.
tprc. has managed the public consultation, local authority communications and stakeholder engagement around many developments covering retail, renewable energy, residential, warehousing and logistics, office, industrial and mixed use. 96% (24 out of 25, in the past few years) of the planning projects we have worked on in the past few years have won planning consent on the first hearing.
We have organised public events, exhibitions, private briefings and meetings, show and tells and even travelling roadshows to help property developers garner support for their schemes.
We’ve also worked closely with non-property businesses to help them achieve planning consent for large or controversial developments for their own use, including a state-of-the-art research laboratory for global PLC RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser), a controversial city-centre based power station, and a large library building at a public school that residents claimed affected their right to light.
Public Affairs plan
Of course, sometimes it is not enough just to give the local community reassurance and a chance to air their views. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, residents are not reassured and band together to oppose your scheme. Pressure groups many come out of the woodwork to lend weight to their position, and political backing can look thin on the ground.
This is where a comprehensive public affairs plan comes into play.
tprc. is skilled and experienced in identifying the potential threats to a development before they occur and can devise a strategy to manage those.
We start by researching all stakeholders in the development, from local councillors and MPs, planning committee members, relevant media, active local groups including community, pressure, environmental, and history and heritage, and we look at reactions to previous developments in the area.
It is this research that enables us to work in any area of the UK; the procedures and processes we use are the same, but we make sure we do our research so we know who to approach them and how best to do that.
We look at the information we glean in light of any specific features or controversial aspects of the scheme and use that to identify likely dissenters and the issues they might cause.
This means we are always ready to meet mistruths with facts, negatives with positives, and stop the rumour mill from turning, and help turn dissenters if not into supporters, then at least neutral onlookers.
Whether you see public consultations and public affairs as a necessary evil or an opportunity to engage with stakeholders to get valuable feedback on your plans, we can help.
We can plan and manage all communications around the development, from pre-application through to the planning decision meeting and beyond, and provide useful documents such as your Statement of Community Involvement.
This leaves you to do what you do best, drive your developments forward.