Effective Campaign Converts Whoa to Go

A mixed use development, comprising retail, restaurant and a plot for Class B uses, proposed for a decade-long brownfield site at Weymouth Gateway.

Having been surprised by a formal objection from a seemingly supportive Town Council, the applicants – LondonMetric Property plc and Avercet Property – recruited Seaxburh to identify and mobilise influential supporters for a full planning application ahead of the Unitary Authority’s planning committee meeting.

  • The site was allocated for B Class use in the Local Plan
  • The first public consultation had exposed significant objection from surrounding neighbours
  • The Town Council formally objected to the proposals, despite having seemed supportive in initial meetings (pre Seaxburh’s involvement)
  • Established positive relationship with local news outlet
  • Secured and mobilised the active support of all three local business groups
  • Created and promoted an online public exhibition. This gained more than 500 responses (c10 times the norm for the town), of which nearly 90% were supportive. From this we created a persuasive SCI Addendum and influencing campaign
  • Lobbied Cabinet members and informed planning committee members of the scheme’s evolution in response to feedback, as well as socio-economic benefits as assessed by independent reports
  • Established cross-party local political support that mitigated the Town Council planning committee objection

A resolution to grant planning permission was made by an 11:1 vote at the Dorset Council Planning Committee meeting in March 2021.

‘Niki’s wide-ranging stakeholder engagement, lobbying and communications campaign was absolutely fundamental in turning the tide, achieving overwhelming support from all quarters of the community, and ultimately consent with a decisive vote in favour of our scheme.’

Tom Pinder, Executive Development Manager, LondonMetric Property plc


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