Helping developers achieve planning consents

Posted on January 6th, 2014

2013 was a busy year for the consultation team at RDPA. We’ve been hard at work helping developers connect with local communities and achieve planning consents. Read on to find out what we’ve been up to.

Asda Stores Planning ConsentWe’ve been working with Asda Stores to help secure planning permission for the development of a superstore at Spring Gardens Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

The local community needs up to date information and we have been providing them with details about the potential development, which will bring jobs and opportunities to the town. It will also impact on some local tenants who will be relocated into two new industrial units on site so we have been liaising closely with them too.

Our remit was to engage with the local community and to provide consistent information about the progress of the development. We agreed a set of clear key messages with ASDA from the outset, which highlighted the socio-economic benefits of the scheme and how it will broaden the retail offer in the area. As part of this engagement process we have worked closely with the local council, MPs and the local media.

Within three months we had established regular dialogue with the local MP, Robert Flello and successfully organised a public consultation event, which over 165 people attended.

From the attendees we received 95% positive feedback about the new ASDA superstore and were able to speak directly to many people who came along with questions. In addition over 450 people have since enquired about jobs at the new ASDA store.

The planning application decision is pending with a decision expected this year.

RDPA helped Feethams achieve planning consent

Feethams Leisure Development, Darlington.

In the north east we have been working with property developer Terrace Hill to handle the pre-application public consultation and media engagement for a number of schemes, including the proposed £30 million Feethams Leisure development in Darlington, which received planning consent in December 2013. We worked with Terrace Hill to advise on the launch of scheme, which received regional and national coverage and continue to manage public and media relations for the scheme, through traditional and social media, as new tenants continue to join the scheme.

In addition, we have been supporting the planning submission of two major regeneration applications in Middlesbrough. Including a flagship Sainsbury’s store, and a town centre redevelopment. RDPR worked alongside Terrace Hill to engage the local community and liaised with the regional press to communicate the proposals in an area that has typically low participation in planning matters. We were delighted to hear that the applications were approved by the local council in November 2013. This is great news for Middlesbrough as the two schemes represent £55 million worth of investment for the area and will act as a catalyst to kick-start regeneration in Middlesbrough as a whole.


With more consultation instructions coming through each week, it really does look to us like the market is picking up. Roll on 2014!

And if you’re looking for advice on the politics of planning consents or simply want help on conducting a public consultation, be sure to get in touch with RDPA today.