10 Oct Why prompt time consuming objections?
Being a good neighbour can be a profitable pastime. It might not be obvious but if you are promoting development plans having minor disputes with your local community possibly isn’t the best way to reduce objections going forward.
At Precise Advise we have spent two decades intervening in disputes, and arguments over issues that don’t necessarily relate to the core development proposals. http://www.preciseadvice.co.uk/engagement/
It’s amazing how many times we have been instructed to promote a new scheme coming forward, only to find out that there are a number of vexatious issues that need resolving as quickly as possible.
The trouble is that when you’ve unveiled development plans and you find yourself retrospectively trying to find solutions for other problems it can be a costly time consuming exercise.
One example of this was the work we undertook on a distribution centre in Yorkshire, which impacted on the local householders Victorian manor house. By the time we were instructed the householder had an anti website, a local action group and was trying to ransom the developer in any way he could.
We had to literally unpick all the mythology that had been created around the Manor house and surrounding lands, and relocate a nature reserve, and unfortunately explain that many of the ideas put forward were more about stopping development than creating real community gain.
The downside that this style of engagement is that it takes more time than initially expected, you have to build relationships in a short period of time, build trust and deliver on what you promise.
Many times we have seen our fellow professionals, planning consultants and architects enter a room to make a presentation at a public meeting, only to fall flat, because the professional team has no empathy or relationship with that community.
We’ve been asked many times how long it takes to try and understand the workings of the community, and it’s a difficult question to answer. But it is not a couple of weeks just prior to submission, whilst the pre-application agreement is running, it takes longer than that.
But in terms of return on investment for the limited amount of budget required the return can be significant.