Major Urban Extension
The CCP outlined our client’s plan for a major urban development of 800 new homes in Derby, and detailed Phase 1 which consisted of 240 homes. The scale of this development caused neighbouring areas to raise their concerns. The site of this development straddled three electoral wards. Its scale called for considerable infrastructure work, including a new school. At 800 homes, this was a significant urban extension to Derby. Residents, politicians and planners were all very cautious and had many concerns.
Bellway Homes commissioned extensive consultation and engagement work. The CCP had to devise a wide-ranging programme of works to highlight the wide array of benefits of the proposal and to reiterate the fact that this housing was essential to deliver on the growth agenda for the whole district. The size of the site meant that different neighbouring areas had different concerns and priorities for the new development and the CCP’s strategy had to reflect that.
Derby City was very politically unstable at the start of the consultation. The political administration had changed from Labour to Conservative and local ward members changed allegiances from UKIP to the Brexit Party and then to two different Independent groups.
The CCP conducted extensive political engagement across the spectrum, especially with the new Leadership of Derby City Council who had inherited a Local Plan from the previous administration that they had campaigned against during elections.
What the CCP did:
- Three different newsletters tailored to different neighbouring areas of the large site to address specific concerns.
- An informative interactive website to explain the proposal and highlight the numerous benefits.
- A short film presented by the project manager to explain the application and in particular the difference between the outline application and phase one full application.
- Harnessed third-party supporters to present to the Planning Committee.
- Extensive political engagement.
The CCP successfully convinced the Leadership that this proposed development should get permission, which it duly did.
New Homes on Green Belt
The CCP campaigned for the development of 53 new homes on a previously developed Green Belt site in Cuffley. The CCP’s consultation programme to shape the final planning submission ahead of the formal adoption of the Local Plan was faced with protest from NIMBY neighbours. This is a site that the CCP promoted on behalf of Countryside through the Broxbourne Local Plan. During the process, the site was removed in Regulation 19 consultation. The CCP facilitated a high-level dialogue with senior councillors and officers to make the case for the inclusion of the site. This was successful, and the site was reinstated in the draft Local Plan. The CCP then launched the consultation programme to shape the final planning submission ahead of the formal adoption of the plan.
Shortly before the application reached the Planning Committee some NIMBY neighbours, who had themselves had a planning application refused, formed an opposition campaign and made a concerted effort to lobby the planning department to reject the application.
This influenced the planning officers who had written a neutral report and left the final decision entirely to the Planning Committee. The CCP had to prove that despite some local objection, there was a silent majority of residents who supported the proposal.
A NIMBY neighbour launched a campaign to send in objections to the proposed development. The client commissioned us to carry out an exercise to balance the NIMBY objections with positive supportive comments from the silent majority of residents.
The CCP sent out a team of four consultants with iPads to survey the neighbouring area and provided supporters of the scheme an opportunity to express their support on an e-mail portal. This supportive email was directly sent to each one of the Planning Committee members in the week preceding the Planning Committee. At the Committee hearing it was noted that all members received an abundance of supportive comments and the application was granted permission in a record short time.
What the CCP did:
- An informative newsletter making the case for development.
- A website with further details of the site, specifically explaining the benefits of the landscaping.
- An interactive feedback function on the website.
- Meetings with stakeholders, specifically neighbouring properties and businesses.
- Door-to-door canvassing for support by our team utilising iPads to facilitate communication.
The application was determined at the first Planning Committee after the formal adoption of the Local Plan.