Building broad support for strategic development
Meeting Place Communications was instructed by Linden Homes to promote an outline application for 250 new homes in Ashchurch, Gloucestershire.
At the earliest stage, engagement was sought with a range of stakeholders including the local school, chamber of commerce, local flood action group, political stakeholders at all tiers, and the local journalist. A range of opinions were gathered which helped to create an important counter-weight of passive or active support for the plans.
Many local residents also presented constructive ideas to the consultation process at two pre-submission public events. One suggestion for re-routing the course of the secondary access was adopted into final design, whilst an adjacent junction was also redesigned to increase safety and capacity. Afterwards, the team presented the results of their public consultation to the Parish Council.
Our supporter motivation activities involved approaching the potential beneficiaries of the scheme’s required Section 106 contributions. This resulted in a close working relationship with the local school, who MPC assisted in lobbying the County Council for a revised education assessment that would divert more funds their way. This effort earned the project team considerable capital with the school.
In all, supporting representations were made by three local nurseries, the local railway promotion group and the Headmaster of the local school. A supporting letter was also signed by the Governors of the local school, and was circulated with the Planning Committee briefing that the project team produced.
The application was recommended for approval and was granted a planning consent at its first examination, by six votes to seven.