Cherton has wide experience in consulting stakeholders and communities on issues that can carry local impacts, whether perceived or actual. To be successful engaging with communities, elected representatives and single-issue groups, demands and deserves professional planning, delivery and reporting. This has up to now, largely been at the discretion of the project promoter but will, post the inception of the new Councils and planning arrangements become mandatory for all major projects.
Effective stakeholder communication has always been a key part of timely and successful project delivery. Cherton has over many years built up its experience of the key statutory processes and a wide knowledge of key stakeholders at local and regional levels. This, combined with the knowledge of what works and doesn’t work in Community Consultation, allows us to offer effective strategic support to teams charged with the delivery of major projects, where Community Consultation (in the new planning environment), its planning, delivery, consideration and reporting will become a mandatory requirement.
It is important to understand what community consultation is and what it is not. One of the most common and damaging mistakes made in promoting major projects within stakeholder communities, is when a group of enthusiastic and well intentioned “experts”, assume they are bringing “good news” and that they will be welcomed by their audience, when in fact the audience’s “perception” may be totally the opposite.
Effective and professional stakeholder consultation can be the difference between “success” and “failure”. The process must begin well before the project is formally announced to the public and the consultation plan must integrate local knowledge with the project promoters expert experience and the experience and advice of the “communicators”.