Land Securities, Southwark
Unanimous consent for a major Bankside office scheme
Context and Objectives
LCA was appointed in 2016 following a competitive pitch to provide communications support around Land Securities’ efforts to secure planning permission for new office buildings, up to 10 storeys, on Bankside. While the planning policy background was supportive, any development of the current two/three-storey buildings on the site would have a daylight and overshadowing impact on a low-rise block of social housing opposite. Politically, as this is a Liberal Democrat part of Labour-run Southwark, any development on the site was therefore likely to prove controversial.
The LCA Role
LCA’s role was to manage political relations and lead community consultation during the planning process. Getting our ward councillors on side would be the key to success, therefore the first step was to meet with them to discuss the proposals as well as the approach to consultation. Following this meeting a special preview event was organised for the site’s 100 immediate neighbours so that they received special treatment and the team could meet with them on a one-to-one basis. There then followed a successful and positive set of consultation events for the wider community as well as further one-to-one stakeholder meetings with key neighbours and community groups to address any concerns before planning submission.
The planning application received just four objections and a local residents association spoke in support of the proposals at Planning Committee. Despite the impact on residents within a Liberal Democrat ward, all members of the Planning Committee voted unanimously in favour of approving the plans.
"LCA has been an important part of the project team, smoothing the consultation process and helping us achieve a fantastic result at committee."