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Planning Communications & Consultation

Meet our Planning Communications and Consultation team

At SEC Newgate UK our planning communications team devise strategies to help clients better communicate with politicians, communities, the media and other interested groups.


We can provide local knowledge and expertise with offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester.   


SEC Newgate’s real estate team comprises 45 professionals from across the spectrum of property services. Our dedicated planning communications and consultation team is approaching 20-strong.


We have developed an industry-leading specialism in communications and consultations in support of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). To date, we have advised on more than 25 NSIPs, including proposed airport runways, nuclear power stations, renewable energy generation, roads, energy from waste facilities, gas storage and generation infrastructure, and carbon capture facilities.



We offer advice and management of local planning projects, national infrastructure projects, construction communications, stakeholder engagement strategies, profile raising and media engagement. This advice helps identify key issues at an early stage of a project, builds meaningful relationships with local communities and helps our clients avoid lengthy delays in the planning and appeals process.

Our dedicated insight team is skilled at monitoring and analysing the political, media and social environment in which your business operates. We monitor industry and political trends; track conversations across the social landscape and get under the surface of local communities. Our perception audits can provide valuable insight into your business.

Understanding the political lie of the land before you invest in a site can save both time and money. We can run a ruler over sites in which you have a potential interest, advising on the likely political and community reaction to development. We review political stability at the local level and uncover reaction to previous development proposals in the local area, building a picture and profiling risk. 

Early stakeholder support is now ever more critical: we work to help you secure site allocations and local buy-in from the start. Through analysis of competing sites and the likely level of opposition to them, as well as gaining an understanding of a community’s future aspirations, we create compelling narratives that can persuade stakeholders to back your option.

Community engagement is now an important consideration at planning committees: we can deliver a robust consultation programme that will withstand scrutiny and meet any relevant statutory requirements. Not only can it provide valuable feedback to help the evolution of your proposals, it will also lead us to identify potential sources of support. Working alongside our digital team, we are able to deliver targeted online engagement campaigns designed to reach groups who may otherwise not be engaged in the planning process. 

We continue to support our clients once the application is submitted, whether that’s ensuring that planning committees have access to accurate and balanced information, mobilising support, or meeting requirements for the acceptance and examination of NSIPs.

This is the time when future reputations are made: get it wrong and difficult headlines and awkward conversations can impact on sales. We can provide a ready interface between our clients and local residents: fielding inquiries, issuing newsletters and hosting community liaison meetings.

Development of all types makes a good news story. We develop the relationships with local media that ensure you have a voice when there is a story to tell.

Sometimes things don’t turn out as you planned. When difficult times arrive, we have an experienced team of crisis experts who can advise on strategy, liaise with the media and create the right narrative.

The big numbers

Here are just some examples of the outcomes SEC Newgate’s planning consultation team delivered in 2022:

More than 2,500 homes consented in 2022

of local planning applications approved

DCO applications accepted for examination

Our very own Doug Johnson speaking at the NSIP Forum 2023

Delivering successful planning projects across the UK

Our teams are based throughout the country with over 30 years’ experience of delivering successful planning communications projects across every region and in the majority of local authorities.

We operate on a simple premise: planning should be progressed with communities and not despite them.

SEC Newgate provides management of planning communications projects throughout the planning process, from site acquisition to sales and marketing. Over the past 30 years, our team of experts has represented the UK’s leading housebuilders, site promoters and infrastructure providers in successfully navigating the planning system.

Longer reads and in-depth analysis from our team of experts

Reports and brochures

National Planning Barometer 2024

The latest iteration of our annual planning barometer takes a deep dive to untangle the...

National Planning Barometer: A planning system set up to fail?

To find out what councillors really think about the UK’s planning system, download a copy...

SEC Newgate at MIPIM 2023 - Property Credentials

Discover more about our Property advisers - SEC Newgate has the most comprehensive...

Securing support for new solar and storage

We lead the field in securing consent for energy and infrastructure projects – and we...

The Reputational Risks of the Cost of Living Crisis

Download our recently published report - The Reputational Risks of the Cost of Living...

Related thinking

Read the latest news, views and insights from the planning and consultation team below 

Key contacts

Meet our team of Planning & Consultation specialists

Get in touch

New business enquiry? Need planning or consultation advice?

Wherever you are in the world, we have the specialist advisers to help. Click below to say hello and we will introduce you to the best team for the job.