A new planning communications service, which aims to support developers throughout a project has been launched by GK Strategy
A leading independent consultancy firm has introduced a new planning communications service. GK Strategy launched GK Intelligent Planning, which aims to support developers from the start of a project through to the final development stages.
The service came about following a restructure of the agency last year and will remove some of the risks associated with planning applications, helping projects to move through the process easier.
Connecting with local stakeholders
The service will use a range tools to ensure details about a development are full understood before a proposal is put forward. It will do this by ensuring clients understand key contextual factors that could pose a risk to applications via political and consumer sentiment audits.
It will also offer advice and help to set up engagement programmes with local government and influencers before applications are submitted.
Digital analysis will also be utilised to determine key issues and create a dialogue with local people, as well as the use of media campaigns to ensure positive promotion of planning proposals.
GK’s Associate Stephanie Elsy will support the team. Elsy is the former Director of Government Affairs at Serco Group and was Leader of the London Borough of Southwark.
She said: “As a former Council Leader, I know all too well how important it is for developers to work closely with local communities and other key stakeholders to build coalitions of support around their plans. Achieving this buy-in is hugely important and I look forward to supporting the team to develop and deliver the very best strategies to achieve this.”
Planning communication shake-up
GK Strategy’s Chief Executive Emily Wallace said the time was right for planning communication to undergo reform.
“All too often planning campaigns rely on old fashioned lobbying techniques that do too little to remove risk from the process for developers and those seeking planning permission for large developments. We want to change this.
“Planning cases are more prone than ever before to becoming highly controversial and propelled into the public conscience. Understanding how these issues manifest and preventing them requires a deep understanding of where people congregate online and what techniques to employ.
“This digital analysis and execution is an element too often missed from planning communications services and developers are therefore left playing catch up with community sentiment. Adopting modern techniques will be a vital component in tackling and winning planning applications in the next ten years – GK want to lead the pack in this respect.”