One of the most important aspect of any planning application.
Political engagement is probably the most important aspect of any planning application. Once all the professionals have done their jobs that they have spent years training for, the last say on the matter is handed to a group of very well-meaning amateurs who sit on the Planning Committees.
These Councillors are there to listen to and act on the concerns of their fellow councillors and residents. They are also very much influenced by the next election that is never more than four years away and no councillor likes losing an election.
To really understand elected Councillors, you need people who have served or even still serve on Councils. At the CCP our entire senior consultant team consists of either former or sitting senior Councillors. We all served time on Planning Committees and some of our consultants are former Leaders of Council and served as Cabinet Members for Planning, Local Plans, and Regeneration, etc.
We have about 100 years of experience between us and our tried and tested formula is as follows:
- Actively engage with the Parish or Town Council (if there is one). Demonstrating to them the tangible benefits for their Village or Town often wins their support.
- Actively engage with the District or Ward Councillors who represent the ward. They serve with other members of the Planning Committee and their support is vital.
- Actively engage with senior Councillors of the District or Unitary Council as they are very influential and often provide valuable information on the content of the planning application.
- Actively engage with County Division Councillors (if in a County) as they are relevant in relation to Highways, Education, Adult Social Care, etc.
- Actively engage with the Member of Parliament as they may become involved if Councillors and residents are concerned about an application.
- Actively engage with Assembly Members and Directly Elected Mayors of regional Government (if in an area covered by them) to ensure they understand the application and its benefits.
Actively engage with members of the Planning Committee by providing them with a briefing note (usually followed up by a phone call from one of our senior consultants) or even a briefing meeting to ensure they fully understand the application and its associated benefits and why they should approve it.
NOTE: We do not ever ask members of the Planning Committee their voting intention as that would constitute pre-determination. We also never exercise undue influence on members of the Planning Committee to pressurise them to vote in a certain way we only present them with the facts of the planning application.