"We support a new home for the Swifts and new homes for our community!"
The club was proposing to move to a new home so that they could build new all-weather pitches, a larger clubhouse and Conference standard facilities for the players and spectators. This was to be funded with an enabling development of 104 new homes on their old site.
The club move proved to be particularly controversial, and an existing residents group were already actively engaged against the proposals. MPC was appointed to motivate the supporters of the club to actively support the proposals, amid a complicated and vociferous stakeholder environment.
Due to the large group which already supported the club itself, MPC were able to immediately employ one of our most innovative consultation techniques: our Show Your Support websites. One of these websites was quickly purpose-built for the project. This allowed supporters to create an account, and quickly and easily write to Council Planning Officers, without having to navigate complicated Council websites. The website also allowed us to see the submissions which were being made so that we could ensure that they appeared on the Council’s website, and we were able to contact users which hadn’t yet written in.
In addition to the Show Your Support website, MPC conducted a photo call with supporters of the club which was published in the local newspaper with a positive article about the proposals. We also attended football games at the club to encourage people to write in to the Council, and produced leaflets giving details of how to write in, to ensure that those without access to the internet could still get involved.
Over 200 people wrote in to the Council in support of the applications, both for the new ground for the club and for the new homes. The application is expected to go to committee this summer.