1st Edition

Public Consultation and Community Involvement in Planning A twenty-first century guide

By Penny Norton, Martin Hughes Copyright 2018
    408 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    408 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Public Consultation and Community Involvement in Planning is the definitive introduction to public consultation for developers, students and planners. The past decade has seen a complete transformation in consultation and community relations in the UK, from increased requirements to consult, to the introduction of neighbourhood planning and a revolution in online communication. Public Consultation and Community Involvement in Planning takes readers through consultation from the basics right through to emerging trends to demonstrate how a successful consultation process can benefit both the developers and the local community.

    The book begins with a definition of consultation and community involvement and an explanation of their role within the development process, before going on to clarify the legal, ethical, practical and ideological concerns to be addressed by the consultation process. Consultation strategy is explored step by step, and social media and online consultation is explored in detail. This is the first comprehensive guide to modern public consultation within the UK development sector and will be essential reading for developers, students and planners.

    List of figures




    Chapter 1 Introduction

    Part One: the context of consultation today

    Chapter 2 A Brief History of Community Engagement in Planning

    Chapter 3 The Political Climate for Community Engagement Today

    Chapter 4 Societal Change and Consultation

    Chapter 5 The Impact of the Internet on Consultation

    Part Two: the planning process

    Chapter 6 The Planning Process and the Role of Consultation

    Chapter 7 The Formulation of a Local Plan

    Chapter 8 Neighbourhood Planning

    Chapter 9 Localism and New Community Rights

    Chapter 10 The Process of a Planning Application

    Chapter 11 The role of local authorities in considering and determining planning applications

    Chapter 12 Appeals and Public Inquiries

    Chapter 13 Consulting on a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP)

    Part Three: communications strategy and tactics

    Chapter 14 Strategy Development

    Chapter 15 Tactics to Inform and Engage

    Chapter 16 New Consultation Tactics

    Chapter 17 Analysis, Evaluation and Feedback

    Chapter 18 Reducing Risk in Consultation

    Part Four: post planning

    Chapter 19 Community Relations During Construction

    Chapter 20 Community Involvement Following Construction

    Chapter 21 Conclusion

    Appendix 1 Timeline of political events impacting on consultation

    Appendix 2 Examples of material and non material planning considerations

    Appendix 3 Community involvement strategy outline

    Appendix 4 Sample Content for Consultation Websites User Guides


    Further reading



    Penny Norton is the founder and director of PR consultancy PNPR (www.pnprlimited.co.uk) and of ConsultOnline (www.consultonlinewebsites.com), a comprehensive online service designed specifically for use in consultations on planning applications. Penny has substantial experience in public relations and public affairs within property, construction and regeneration and has written extensively on the subjects of consultation and community relations.

    Martin Hughes is a former Labour councillor. He founded specialist community involvement consultancy Polity Communications in 2005 and since then has dealt with over 100 local authorities, gaining a wide breadth of experience in development and regeneration projects.

    'This book is a very comprehensive overview of the historical background, the obstacles and the democratic legitimacy challenges that come with consultation and community involvement in the changing world of planning, community relations and corporate social responsibility. It offers a tried and tested approach to citizen engagement strategies, informed by a strong theoretical grounding and years of experience on the ground, and provides excellent insights into best practice, demonstrated through a range of projects.'  – Adrian Penfold OBE, Head of Planning, British Land 

    'For those involved in promoting Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) through the Development Consent Order (DCO) process under the Planning Act 2008 this publication provides a very good account of the stakeholder engagement and public consultation necessary to meet requirements and achieve a successful outcome. Information and guidance on good practice is presented in a clear, concise and informative way which is readily accessible to busy practitioners.' – Paul White, Technical Director and EIA Technical Authority in the Infrastructure Division at Atkins Ltd

    'With the increasing demands being placed upon the planning system for local accountability to be at the forefront of planning practice and decision-making, the process of involving the community in planning can frequently be treated as a science. Penny and Martin’s book reminds us that engaging with individuals and communities is still very much an art and requires imagination and creativity to both inform and engage effectively. There is a wealth of experience and best practice contained within this book that shows us what has worked and importantly to inspire and encourage us to continue to search for new and innovative ways to engage individuals in the planning and building of our future communities.' – Will Cousins, Partner, David Lock Associates

    'Perhaps the most remarkable change in planning since the 1960s has been the growing appetite for ordinary people to want to get involved in the planning process. Yet for too long developers have just played lip service to this valid interest. Having worked with Penny over the years I have greatly admired her approach and here it is described both theoretically and through wide-ranging examples. It is the antithesis of the ‘dark art’ of spin so often associated with communication in planning. Penny shows how a considered approach can keep dialogue focused and constructive while both capitalising on modern technology and managing expectations.  What comes across is a respect and empathy for consultees that makes her approach so effective in bridging the divide between developer and community.' – Stuart Robinson, Freelance Planning, Placemaking and Development consultant and previously Executive Director and Chairman of Planning at CBRE

    "This book is a major achievement and Planning Schools should make it compulsory reading." —The Consultation Institute, December 2017