Proposals for 288 new dwellings in Brantham approved by Babergh District Council

Background

MPC was appointed by Taylor Wimpey East Anglia in Autumn 2018 to provide community consultation and political engagement support for their reserved matters proposals for 288 new dwellings at Land off Brooklands Road, Brantham.

In 2014 it was allocated within the Brantham Regeneration Area in Babergh’s Core Strategy and in 2016 a hybrid planning application for the site was approved, despite organised opposition. As such, the proposals came forward with a backdrop of a village where the site was well known and with a local community that takes a keen interest in planning issues.

Strategy

MPC produced a tailored consultation and engagement strategy for the project, which began with a public exhibition to display the emerging proposals and to convey the true selling points of the scheme. As residents neighbouring the site were more likely to have specific concerns, we held a near neighbour surgery where site neighbours to meet one-to-one with the project team to answer their questions and understand their aspirations for development.

In tandem with the public consultation, we also engaged with key local stakeholders with a strong interest in the future of the site, including Brantham Parish Council and local ward councillors, through one-to-one meetings. As a result of our approach, the ward councillor for Brantham praised at determination how the “Statement of Community Involvement described a mass of community consultation and how the scheme has evolved in response…as much has been done as I’ve ever seen.”

This continued throughout the lifetime of the project with our focused “countdown to committee” strategy. As part of this strategy, key stakeholders including Planning Committee members and the ward councillor received a graphically designed four page briefing in the week before determination that presented the application and its benefits. This was also supplemented by a “ring round” to address any remaining questions or concerns that stakeholders had.

Outcome

  • Taylor Wimpey’s reserved matters planning application for the site was unanimously approved by Babergh Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday 19th June 2019.

  • Brantham ward councillor addressed the Planning Committee in praise of Taylor Wimpey’s public consultation and the overall scheme more widely.

  • No formal objection from Brantham Parish Council

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