Delivering a new home for Digital Health Care in the north west

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Social Communications was appointed by Ascalon Properties and Seddon Developments (working as Euxton Lane Developments Ltd) to provide community engagement and political support for an ambitious 25 acre mixed use scheme on Euxton Lane in Chorley.

The green-field site had been allocated for employment use in 2013 but there was little local awareness of this. Nearby residents were expected to raise concerns, especially immediate neighbours who currently enjoyed unobstructed rural views. The access to the site would be via Euxton Lane, perceived as a busy road by the local community.

Introducing the site

The team met with local ward councillors to discuss the future of the site and committed to regular meetings throughout the lifetime of the planning application to keep them updated.

In the first stage of public consultation, a website was designed and a consultation brochure delivered to 4500 nearby homes that introduced the site, its council allocation, and how a solely employment scheme could look. Residents were asked for their comments and concerns as well as any preferences for alternative uses on the site. A meeting was also held with a neighbouring hospice.

The region’s new home for Digital Health

The feedback from the first phase of consultation was taken to officers and members and so began the development of a plan for a mix of uses on the site. The central employment offer would be a Digital Health Park, supported by light industrial units, care homes, convenience retail, a family pub and 125 new homes.

Supported by regular positive local and regional media coverage about the emerging plans, a second stage of community consultation included the website, a consultation brochure and public exhibition. Local ward members were updated about the plans and the expected 700 jobs that would be created.

In July 2015, just over 12 months since the consultation work began, Chorley Council’s planning committee voted to approve the outline application for Euxton Lane. To help facilitate the next stage of the site’s development, details of the site and the opportunities available were then promoted through press coverage in local, regional and property press.

Ken Whitaker, Ascalon Properties:

"Social Communications added significant value to our team on a challenging project. They delivered a creative approach to our community engagement activity, intelligent political guidance in our discussions with council members, and impressive PR support to successfully promote the benefits of the scheme through the local, regional and property press."

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