Everyone agreed it had been a long journey which ended with the application that came before Spelthorne Planning Committee at the end of July.
The principle of development on the former London Irish Rugby Ground had been set with the granting of outline permission in September 2012 for 206 residential units, including 60 sheltered homes.
However, local opposition to the scheme was still smouldering and Crest Nicholson believed that open and transparent consultation was the only way to assuage the majority of their concerns.
Cratus recommended engaging with the closest neighbours before going out to the general public and arranged a workshop event where 40 local residents reviewed a range of options for detailed plans.
Whilst the overwhelming preference was for one of the two options that were chosen by residents to be taken forward with the planning department at Spelthorne – this was not acceptable to the council and so it was the second option that was presented for wider public consultation.
Throughout the process Cratus kept in close contact with the local residents association, residents adjacent to the site and local ward members and fed back all comments / concerns to the development team.
The application that finally came before the committee was unopposed by any statutory consultee, but more importantly the local resident association did not object saying that they were, “satisfied that Crest Nicholson adequately consulted residents by presenting various options and that the Company took due cognisance of their views”.
This was a view shared by members on the night when the level of consultation was praised and the application was approved by a strong majority of 10 for, 1 against and 2 abstentions, with several members praising the robust nature of the consultation.
We very much enjoyed the close working relationship we were able to build with the development team from Savills, Crest Nicholson and Omega who were fully committed to producing the best possible outcome for the local area.
We believe this project demonstrates our claim that “With our support, planning and development can be shaped by the input of those living and working nearby, helping to ensure a smooth path to securing planning approval.”