Community Consultation and engagement: Waitrose
Securing a new Waitrose store for Helensburgh
Helensburgh is one of the last towns in Scotland without a supermarket. Our brief was to design and implement a programme of community engagement and consultation to win approval for a new Waitrose food store, on an edge of town site.
What we did
- Delivered a wide-ranging stakeholder engagement programme to address the concerns of local people and interest groups
- Designed and implemented a public consultation exercise
- Built a powerful case for a change in zoning of the chosen site from Business and Employment use, to retail
- Established strong and continuing good relations with a local supporters’ group
- Coordinated a 10-month proactive media campaign
- Rebutted a late campaign of opposition organised by a number of vested interests
- 1250 people responded to the consultation exercise - 96% were positive about the proposal
- Over 700 people made formal representations to the Council about the application during the statutory consultation period, 95% in favour
- We used the above figures to argue that public support should count as a consideration in the planning decision, in line with Scottish Planning Policy
- Around 30 individuals spoke in support of the application, representing dozens of others, at an eight-hour long public Hearing attended by 300 people
- The proposal which was described as ‘controversial’ by the Council and which was recommended for refusal by officers, was passed unanimously by councillors on the planning committe
Paul Doherty, Director, Drum Property Group said:
"We brought Pagoda PR in to deal with the consultation process associated with an ultimately successful planning application for a food store and petrol station in Helensburgh .
"Their role quickly expanded to dealing with all issues at the interface between the developer and the Council , community groups , the media and the general public.
Pagoda knew exactly what was required and - I have to admit - surprised me with their depth of understanding of the planning process.
"They were attentive and proactive in dealing with problems and applied a mature and balanced approach to the media, which is crucial in this type of proposal where local opinion is divided.
"Pagoda became an intrinsic part of the development team and I will have no reservations in using them again or indeed recommending them to others."