The Localism Act 2011 contains a number of measures aimed at decentralising power and giving local people greater control and influence over what constitutes appropriate development.
One of the ways this will be played out is that pre-application consultations with local communities will become a statutory obligation, with developers being required to show how public engagement has influenced the design process. Additionally, in cases of demonstrable inadequate consultation, permission could be open to judicial review.
Moving public opinion from resistance to collaboration will be key to achieving a smooth consultation process, ultimately leading to greater success with planning. Better collaboration can be achieved through early consultation, involving engaging local residents in the design of the development. There are many ways of engaging local populations and success is down to devising and implementing a suitable strategy.
Ecosulis has been involved in numerous consultation processes for a wide variety of projects. In light of how even more important public communication and engagement is likely to become, we’re developing and testing innovative methods of monitoring the opinions and interests of the public through electronic and traditional communication campaigns. We are also constantly developing new ways to better engage the public positively though face-to-face consultations and through the production of a range of community-orientated media including posters, videos, websites and animations.