The North Street Regeneration, Guildford

Client

St. Edward (The Berkeley Group)

Services Provided

Community Consultation

25,000

Visitors

1,740

Comments Received

832

Subscribers

Brief

Facilitate a comprehensive community consultation programme to support Berkeley’s planning application for a large-scale, mixed-use regeneration scheme on brownfield land in Guildford, Surrey. This contentious site was well overdue for development, but suffering from local objections based mainly on concerns around height and architecture in the town centre. The objective? Achieve planning permission.

Campaign

Close collaboration with the developer who recognised the importance of high-quality, authentic consultation and of reaching a wide demographic. The programme mixed imaginative digital and face-to-face engagement with a clear cycle of ‘you said/we did’ design evolution over time, balanced with sales/marketing-style techniques to appeal to a varied audience) and lay the groundwork for sales marketing.

  1. Early consultation focused on Guildford itself and the town’s priorities to set the scene, as opposed to the development
  2. A mix of digital and face-to-face workshops, exhibitions and updates over the 3-year consultation period. Events included a collaboration with a local cocktail bar
  3. Involvement in third-party events and community occasions to build familiarity and direct contact including collaborations with local BID group, Guildford in Bloom, business owners and Council-led events
  4. Considered strategic outreach and ‘door knocking’ to reach key stakeholder individuals, build trust and generate buy-in, along with general public – time intensive but incredibly effective in creating advocacy among town influencers
  5. Strong use of digital – both for campaigning and promotion, and information sharing. Video updates were used frequently – presentation style as well as marketing-led in tone to attract attention
  6. Support made easy – clear ‘customer journey’ for those wishing to give support – on paper and online

Results

  • Over 25,000 individual visitors to community website
  • 1,740 comments received in total
  • 832 subscribers to mailing list
  • 582 live webinar attendees in total
  • 213 letters of support vs just 18 objections
  • Application granted!
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