The views of local community groups were already important, but have been brought to the fore by the government's Localism Agenda.
Understanding and utilising consultation with community groups and the wider public is not just about fulfilling statutory requirements. It can also ensure planning proposals are more likely to receive support and ultimately secure a realistic planning permission or allocation by dealing with misconceptions and reaching consensus.
Directions Planning Consultancy is able to organise effective public consultation events in accordance with statutory requirements or in order to comply with the requirements of planning policy.
Understanding the objectives for such engagement, and making sure it is meaningful, are paramount, so we always ensure we maintain a focus on the reasons why consultation is being employed.
We utilise a number of qualitative and quantitative techniques to engage effectively with stakeholders. These may include exhibitions, web-based surveys, questionnaires, workshops and internet forums.
We have organised public consultation events in relation to a number of planning applications where it was felt engaging with the neighbours would be of benefit to explain the scheme and to provide an opportunity to discuss concerns. Planning permission was subsequently secured on all the schemes involved as potential objections could be addressed before the planning applications were finalised for submission.Malton, Ryedale
We assisted the Town Clerk with organising consultation on the draft neighbourhood plan, which involved organising public events and publicity. We made use of a number of shop windows to display information about the neighbourhood plan and we hosted a number of public exhibitions. This included using a double decker bus in the market square for the basis of a number of exhibitions where information was on hand to view, questionnaires were made available and we attended in order to answer questions. A questionnaire was circulated by post across the neighbourhood plan area, and we hosted a website www.mn-np.org.uk where a copy of the document was available to view and the questionnaire could be completed on line.