The many consultations that PNPR has carried out on behalf of clients have won the support of local authorities, local residents and the media alike, substantially increasing the schemes’ likelihood of gaining planning consent.

We have devised and implemented public consultations for developers across the country, typically on sites which face local opposition or planning policy issues. Recently this has included difficulties stemming from revised regional planning policy.

We provide a full service consultation team, including public affairs and event management specialists and through ConsultOnline, we have pioneering use of web-based communications.

If you are a developer or planning consultant with an interest in achieving planning permission, please read on.

You can also find out more about ConsultOnline, a unique online consultation service set up by PNPR, by visiting

Why engage with the local community?

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The Localism Act introduces compulsory pre-application consultation for larger applications: developers must carry out consultations which meet the basic requirements of the specific local authority.

By giving the local community and stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the proposals and therefore strengthening developers’ awareness of the issues important to the community, contentious issues can be addressed at an early stage. This removes the cost of amending plans, reduces the likelihood of appeals and enables planning permission to be granted more swiftly.

Effective consultation builds lasting relationships with communities and local authorities. This is vital, especially where developers are likely to deal with the same local authorities and communities again in the future.

Trust in the development industry can be undermined due to some developers presenting communities with a ‘fait accompli’ development, rather than being seen to engage in genuine consultation. Involving stakeholders in the planning process in a meaningful way increases the likelihood of them supporting the proposals.

Thorough and innovative consultation creates opportunities for positive media coverage and recognition through awards.

Community engagement is an integral component of Corporate Responsibility, which can offer the benefits of brand enhancement, increasing staff morale and providing greater investor confidence.

Local communities are potential customers. Promoting new schemes in a positive light from the offset is likely to enhance sales.

The internet and social media is changing the way we communicate at every level, both personally and professionally, and an increasing selection of new online communication channels is now available.

Local authorities are now required to publish planning documents online, which has resulted in the internet being used as a platform for discussion on planning and related issues.

The Localism Act requires councils to give residents greater involvement through the use of modern communications methods – such as webstreaming council meetings. This has led to greater online communication about local authority issues generally.

  • Reaches new audiences – particularly the young and the time-poor and those who for other reasons are unable to engage via traditional methods
  • Reaches extensive audiences – using existing social networks alongside a variety of search tools, a broad and yet relevant audience can be reached quickly
  • Spreading the message – statistically, if you tell someone something offline, they may tell one or two people; if you tell someone online, the message spreads to an average of 140 people
  • Engaging people – you are using a medium in which people choose to communicate and, thanks to smart phones and iPads, can do so regardless of time or place, making them more likely to take part
  • Fast and responsive – enabling us to become aware of, to understand, and to correct misconceptions immediately
  • Easy to monitor and evaluate – monitoring and evaluation is ongoing and cost-effective
  • Adaptable – the messages can be changed quickly and cost-effectively as the proposals progress
  • Ongoing – the most cost-effective means to provide daily updates
  • Enhances reputation – communication is pioneering, in touch, consumer focused and transparent
  • Resulting benefits – to corporate reputation, community relations and future sales