Strategic land and site promotion

“Chelgate gives a real insight into political thinking at all levels and all political persuasions, and invaluable support on explaining often difficult concepts to experts and laypeople alike.” Neil Osborn, Senior Professional Director, DLP Planning

We work with strategic land developers and promoters, landowners and planning consultants to promote sites for development through or outside the local plan process. We work closely with the consultant team to advise on the strategic approach to a project, the tactics to be used and communications. Our bespoke programmes emphasise working with politicians and local communities to create plans which maximise community benefit and minimise local impacts.

We are experienced in collaborative/community planning and neighbourhood planning and can either organise events ourselves or deliver them together with partners. We facilitate workshops and consultation to support masterplan development, working with local communities to define and refine how a new site will integrate into the existing area.

Some current and recent projects include:

High Halstow, Kent 

We are assisting Redrow South East with a site in Medway for around 750 new homes, which is allocated within the emerging local plan. Having supported Redrow with a smaller site in the village, which is now under construction, we were well-placed to assist with this larger project having existing relationships with stakeholders and residents. A hybrid application will be submitted later in 2023.

Northfield, South Oxfordshire

Chelgate supported L&Q Estates and Brasenose College of Oxford University in their proposals for development of around 2,000 new homes with a new primary school, local centre and open green spaces. Located on green belt on the edge of Oxford city, the development was not originally included in South Oxfordshire’s draft local plan despite its locational advantages and deliverability. Following Chelgate’s political and community engagement for the scheme in recent years the site was included in the adopted local plan. The partners, which includes Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council, are working towards master planning and then submitted planning applications to develop the site.

Billericay, Essex

We have been helping promoting a green belt site for 580 homes west of Billericay for Redrow Eastern into the Basildon local plan. Chelgate has been working on this project for several years, building and maintaining relationships with local stakeholders, politicians, local residents and residents’ groups. The site was allocated in the local plan which was withdrawn by the council in 2022.

Shapley Heath Garden Community, Hampshire

Chelgate assisted Hart District Council in the initial stages of the conception of a new garden community in Hampshire. Shapley Heath Garden Community would consist of 5,000 new homes plus associated infrastructure. Work surrounded an extensive place survey and establishing a stakeholder forum to guide the concept and master planning.

Staplehurst, Kent

Chelgate is assisting Wates in promoting its site for 300+ homes in Staplehurst into the Maidstone local plan. The plan examination in public will conclude later in 2023.

Rayleigh, Essex

We are assisitng Crest Nicholson promote a site for 500 homes into the Rochford local plan review. The proposals include new sports facilities for the local football club.

Brentwood, Essex

Chegate has been assisting Tesco promote its Hopefiled site for 450+ newe homes into the Brentwood local plan review. The proposals include complete new facilities for the Hopefield Animal Sanctuary and a school drop-off facility for the UK’s busiest school Road, Sawyer Hall lane. The local plan review gets under way during 2023.

Wisley Airfield, Guildford, Surrey

With Guildford house prices running at more than 14 times average incomes, Wisley Airfield provides an obvious opportunity for development. Under the proposals, the derelict airfield would be transformed into a new community of 2,000+ homes, sports, social and health facilities and parkland.

Wheathampsted, Hertfordshire

Chelgate has been helping Taylor Wimpey promote a site for 300 homes in Wheathampsted into the St Albans local plan. This has proved challenging as the council is now on its third attempt to create a plan, and has England’s second-oldest local plan, after York.

Grays, Thurrock

We have been assisting Miller Homes with its planned North Grays Extension proposals for 500+ new homes. Thurrock’s locla plan has stalled following the Government’s intervention appointing commissioners to oversee the unitary’s finances. The commissioners are Essex County Council.

Fairoaks Garden Community, Surrey

Chelgate assisted in strategy development and the promotion of this existing airfield in Surrey through the local plan. Initial plans were for 2,500 new homes, employment and associated infrastructure.

Birchall Garden Suburb, Hertfordshire

A proposed garden suburb to provide for the housing and social needs of the local community. The site neatly straddles East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield councils, providing a total of more than 2,556 homes, three schools, shops and other facilities. Whilst it is in the green belt it has been allocated in both emerging local plans. East Herts DC local plan was adopted in 2018 whereas the Welwyn Hatfield local plan is currently with the inspector.

West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) 

Chelgate assisted WNDC in managing relationships across Northampton, Towcester and Daventry. Our role was to engage with partners, potential investors and developers and to implement a communications programme. This included strategy development and crisis management, developers’ forums, newsletters and other briefings, councillor events, media launches, media relations (local, trade and national), corporate entertainment and public affairs. The assignment involved a secondment to the WNDC offices in Northampton.

“Sometimes it is difficult to see the value of political and community engagement being carried out by a specialist consultancy, however with Chelgate that value is clear, measurable and has proved vital to gaining consent.” David Banfield, Planning Director, Redrow Homes