Consulting with the public

19/10/2012

Recognition has handled scores of consultations and most go very smoothly. The picture shows a consultation exhibition in Durham, which engaged with the public and resulted in minor changes to plans which enhanced the application.


I have some horror stories too. These are mostly from smaller developers attempting their first big schemes. They rush and involve the public late in the day in such a way that presents them with a binary choice - object or accept.


One developer wanted to build a large scale residential development on his farm. He wanted to apply for planning permission before the council’s summer recess and only realised at a date very near to the meeting that he hadn’t ticked the consultation box. He hurriedly arranged a public meeting at the farm, resulting in hundreds of people driving through the beautiful farmland he wanted to develop only to be given a talk by an architect who had never talked to a large crowd before. The result was a disaster. The people, who had never previously met, exchanged phone numbers and organised a protest group and the plans were subjected to a massive press campaign and refused!


Council meetings before recesses - Summer and Christmas - usually spark this sort of misguided consultation. It is unprofessional and counter-productive.


Recognition has a formula which ensures the public can have their say, the developer can make a case and any debate can be conducted in a rational way which avoids hot heads! Take our advice early and let the PR people be part of your team alongside architects and planning consultants.



Blog Home

Blog Archive

Please choose a year to filter blog articles: