Context and Objectives
As part of the Club’s continuing investment programme, they developed plans to create a new world-class training centre at Bull’s Cross in north Enfield to replace their outdated facilities in Chigwelll.
The site included a substantial amount of green belt land and following an organised opposition campaign was turned down at planning committee. The Club then brought in LCA to run a consultation and public affairs campaign for the revised application.
The LCA Role
LCA approached this brief like a true campaign, with a dedicated week by week plan to garner local support for the revised designs. This included producing and distributing an eight page information brochure to around 30,000 homes, which clearly set out the their ambitions for the area, explained how the reasons for refusal had been appropriately dealt with and highlighted the club’s commitment to community engagement.
We supported the Club’s media handling, working closely with the press team to supply releases, stakeholder letters and Club statements, with a specific focus on moving the media from a generally negative stance to a neutral one.
For Planning Committee we prepared both the Club and its professional advisers for their presentations and Q&A to ensure the best case was made on the night.
6,400 supporters signed an online petition, of which over 700 were Enfield residents. Over 200 individual letters were received by the council all of which came from Enfield residents. The committee presentation itself was a powerful demonstration of the scheme’s benefits which helped gain clear support on the night.
LCA then delivered ongoing stakeholder communications through regular resident newsletters during construction. The training ground is now open, in use and the envy of other Clubs.
“LCA hit the ground running. Their strategic advice was clear and well thought through, with a focus on what had to be done, not what might be done. Their implementation was dedicated and energetic and they delivered under significant time pressure.”