Planning and Engagement
Delivering change in our economy and our communities requires promoters to secure support and input from a wide range of stakeholders. Not only is this often a legal requirement but it helps fully understand a problem, to identify the most appropriate solution and to deliver that solution in the most appropriate, cost effective and beneficial way. It is for this reason that we are deeply committed to authentic stakeholder engagement, knowing that it not only influences design and planning but also magnifies benefits for communities and the environment. Our Planning & Engagement Directorate is tasked with championing this commitment and delivering for our clients.
Our formula for successful engagement is simple yet effective: collaborate and establish trust. We work hand-in-hand with partner organisations and communities, weaving trust into every layer of the planning process.
Our engagement work forms a key component of our broader land and consent management services. We excel in the renewables, regeneration, utilities, and transport sectors, offering you a comprehensive, all-in-one solution to our countries greatest challenges and opportunities.
Comprised of seasoned experts in community and stakeholder engagement, our team brings extensive experience to the table. We specialise in navigating the complex terrains of the Town & County Planning Act, Development Consent Order process, and projects managed through the Transport & Works Act Order or Hybrid Bills.
We’re not a one-size-fits-all service. Our flexible approach ensures that we adapt to the unique demands of each project, maximising available resources. On top of that, we’re excited about leveraging cutting-edge technologies to offer you quicker, more cost-efficient, and higher-quality engagement exercises.
A goal without a plan is merely a wish. We assist clients in understanding the objectives associated with each engagement exercise, using this insight to formulate effective engagement plans or strategies. This enables all parties to envisage what success entails and outlines the specific activities and actions needed to achieve it. This is the part of our job we enjoy the most. This is the opportunity to reflect on previous experience and ensure each exercise and the plan for each exercise gives clients a better change to deliver a fantastic project and user outcomes.
Going beyond statutory or legal requirements, we utilise the latest case studies and employ big data for community and stakeholder profiling. Our several decades of experience at the forefront of the infrastructure sector inform our understanding of what needs to be accomplished, how it should be carried out, and how we can collaboratively achieve it.
We adopt a nuanced approach that considers more than the conventional ‘interest vs influence’ dynamics. For instance, many seldom-heard groups may lack both interest and influence in a project, yet it is crucial that their voices are included to benefit the wider community.
In collaboration with a variety of partners, we produce materials ranging from straightforward yet informative flyers to websites, social media assets, and videos. Depending on the project’s scope, we customise materials to convey bespoke messages or reach different communities. We strive for accessibility and inclusivity in all our engagement materials whilst making sure they meet any specific brand guidelines or other requirements.
While not everyone is online, the majority are, and advanced platforms enable meaningful interactions across diverse geographies and schedules. We are committed to ensuring that online engagement reaches seldom-heard groups and that all contributions, whether big or small, are valued and considered.
We are invested in our clients’ success and are sensitive to the impacts of change on individuals and communities. We champion face-to-face engagement and aim to host accessible and inclusive meetings and events that facilitate co-design and meaningful interaction throughout the planning process. We also work with a range of partners to ensure, regardless of the project location, we can reach stakeholders and give them the face-to-face time they want or need.
Utilising cutting-edge digital platforms, we animate and visualise the narratives behind infrastructure projects. In partnership with industry-leading and award-winning agencies, we go beyond standard social media and e-marketing to explore innovative methods like influencer partnerships, vlogs, podcasts, and other creative content. We are particularly interested to see how Virtual Reality and other cutting edge technologies help bring projects to life and inspire engagement.
Employing our bespoke database management system, Atlas, we map and engage stakeholders throughout a project’s lifecycle. We assist clients in developing Stakeholder Management Plans that not only ensure fruitful engagements but also provide thorough documentation. We use this platform to promote collaboration across multiple teams and partner organisations saving time, saving on paperwork and helping ensure everything that happens and everything that is said is recorded and accessible.
Our extensive understanding of major infrastructure sectors informs our approach to reporting. We aim to produce reports that genuinely inform decision-making processes. We delve into stakeholder motivations and challenges, ensuring that their voices are not just heard, but duly considered.
We appreciate the fact different projects and engagement exercises require a different mix of skills and a difference scale of resource. For this reason we deliver a range of services which goes way above and beyond that shown above. Further examples of our offerings are shown below;
- Surveys and survey design
- Construction communications
- Bespoke events and meetings such as Focus Groups
- Poling and other forms of data collection
- Social value plans
- Public Relations & Crisis Communications
- Expert witness and Inquiry support