16 May 2013
We are delighted to announce our re-appointment by leading house builder Crest Nicholson, as we continue our march into the property and construction sector.
Consense last worked with the UK based developer back in 2009 when we managed the community consultation for Base in Brentwood, a development of luxury 1 & 2 bedroom apartments. This followed work on several other new build projects in the East and South East.
Our team have been arduously at work over the past few months to manage full-service consultation for two of Crest’s new schemes in the East of England; Smith’s Farm at Great Dunmow and an extension of Kings Warren at Red Lodge.
In addition to advising on best practice consultation, devising engagement strategies and stakeholder databases, we have produced various communication materials including exhibition invites, stakeholder letter and exhibition displays which were designed and printed by us in-house. To find out more about full-service consultation management please click here.
13 May 2013
This month has seen the launch of our first online consultation for new client Inazin and their plans for a 27 turbine wind farm at Balliemeanoch, south east of Portsonachan, Argyll.
The proposed plans, if approved, could bring many benefits to the local community, including potential energy discounts for those living within 15km of the development. In addition, the proposed plans will help to contribute to Scotland’s renewable energy targets, with the turbines capable of generating around 194GWh of clean electricity each year.
The online consultation provides full details of the proposed wind farm and invites local community members to register for updates. The website will continue to evolve over the coming months with the addition of new info pages and a questionnaire, which will allow users to provide feedback on the scheme.
In addition to creating a consultation website for Balliemeanoch, we have also produced various communication materials such as community leaflets and exhibition displays which were designed and printed by us in-house. These consultation materials will be used for a public exhibition being held this week, to inform the local community about the proposal and obtain feedback.
09 April 2013
As the UK’s leading provider of online consultation services for major planning applications, Consense is constantly seeking to expand its service offering with the addition of talented and creative individuals.
We currently have vacancies available for the following positions:
The core job role is to assist the Account Management team with the day-to-day management of projects to time and budget. Working with a range of high-profile clients, the ideal candidate should have at least 1 years’ experience in a similar role, with excellent communication and organisational skills.
We require an experienced Designer to join our creative team. The Designer’s primary day-to-day role will be to work closely with the developers and Account/ Project Managers on web site design, presentation design and implementation. There is also the possibility of print design if you are able.
If you are interested in applying for either position please send a CV and covering letter to Emma Kemp at email@example.com.
07 March 2013
Consense are celebrating a successful start to 2013, with the approval of planning applications in both the energy and property sectors.
The largest of the applications, for Kilgallioch Wind Farm, was approved by the Scottish Government in February, and is set to be Scottish Power Renewables’ second largest onshore wind project with an operational capacity of up to 288MW, enough to power more than 170,000 homes.
Also approved this year is the planned regeneration of land surrounding Haywards Heath Station in Surrey (Solum Regeneration) which will bring a new food store and transport connections to the town.
Both approved projects utilised online consultation as part of wider community engagement activities and chose the award-winning Open Debate system to help them manage feedback and analyse responses.
To find out more about Open Debate please click here.
11 February 2013
We are delighted to announce that our client Partnerships for Renewables has completed construction of its first wind energy development at HMP Standford Hill ahead of extensive testing later this month.
The joint venture between PfR and the Ministry of Justice comprises of two turbines capable of producing up to 10GWh of clean electricity each year, enough to power approximately 2,300 average households.
In addition to providing online consultation support via a bespoke system that enables PfR’s communications teams to create their own project websites in-house, we have produced various printed materials to support the engagement process for the Standford Hill project, such as newsletters and exhibition boards.
We wish PfR many similar successes in the future and look forward to seeing the turbines up and running later this year!
To find out more about our work with PfR, please click here.
04 February 2013
Consense has this week launched a fourth international website for Mainstream, following the success of previous online projects in the USA, Canada and South Africa.
The website provides users with information about the planned construction of Parque Eólico Cuel, or Cuel Wind Park, in Chile, which will comprise of 22 turbines with an installed capacity of approximately 33MW, enough to provide up to 60,000 homes with clean, renewable power.
The website, powered by Open Debate, has a full content management tool and includes special features such as an image gallery which feeds through directly from Mainstream’s Flickr account.
Website visitors can keep up to date with the build of the wind farm via the News page which Mainstream can maintain in-house via the Open Debate admin area.
21 December 2012
Today sees the launch of a ninth website for London based renewable energy developer, AGRenewables.
The online consultation for four medium-sized wind turbines at Torr Quarry in Somerset also marks the fifty-second website launched by Consense this year – which equates to one website launched per week throughout 2012, our busiest year yet!
With several websites already lined up for January 2013 we are hoping to beat our record again next year.
21 December 2012
Established client, Coriolis, approached us in November to design and build a website to help promote an innovative community benefit scheme for a proposed wind farm in South Lanarkshire.
The scheme offers energy rebates and discounts to residents living within 10km of the turbine, as well as offering a traditional renewable energy fund to local good causes and initiatives.
Our team of in-house designers and community engagement specialists have created a site which is both friendly and engaging to consumers. The handy postcode lookup tool allows users to find out their entitlement to the fund whilst the registration page allows them to record their interest in the scheme.
11 December 2012
A fourth online consultation has been launched for Bloor Homes today, following the success of their three other schemes they have adopted Open Debate for, which have all received planning consent.
The online consultation for the development of the Batson Cross site on the edge of Salcombe in Devon encourages early engagement in the masterplanning process. The website invites people to sign up for email updates, to submit comments or questions and to find out more about forthcoming and past consultation events.
The online consultation will evolve with the planning process, with updates planned for early 2013.
Read more about our work with Bloor Homes here.
10 December 2012
Today sees the launch of a fourth online consultation for Hammerson and their plans for Watermark WestQuay, a leisure-led regeneration scheme, which will adjoin WestQuay Shopping Centre in Southampton.
Phase one of the scheme will include a landmark multiplex cinema building; a new retail store; up to 15 restaurants and cafes; leisure space suitable for a children’s entertainment centre; and a new public piazza in front of the city’s historic walls. The second phase is likely to include Phase Two has the potential to include up to 240 apartments; office space; a hotel; and additional public open space.
The online consultation provides full details of the proposed Watermark WestQuay and invites local community members to register to complete a questionnaire and submit any comments or questions they may have. Hammerson can use their existing Open Debate system to monitor and respond to feedback; and maintain an audit trail of all communication.
12 November 2012
Today we have launched a website for a proposed tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay. The lagoon will be capable of generating over 400,000MWh/year, which is enough to supply over 100,000 homes, or Swansea’s domestic electricity use.
A Scoping Report has recently been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, with an application for a Development Consent Order expected to be submitted next Autumn.
The website provides initial information about the project and the technology behind tidal lagoons. It also invites visitors to sign up to receive project news by email, ahead of the formal community and stakeholder consultation process kicking off in the Spring.
The website will continue to evolve in line with the project, so watch this space!
17 October 2012
We’ve been busy preparing our stand for this year’s RenewableUK conference which takes place at the SECC Glasgow from the 30th October – 1st November.
Our team will be on hand at Stand 144 offering advice on best practice consultation and providing demonstrations of our award-winning Open Debate online tool.
We’re looking forward to catching up with clients both old and new so if you’re visiting this year’s conference please pop by and say hello!
Click here to view the RenewableUK Floor Plan.
28 September 2012
We have been commissioned by onshore wind developer, Airvolution, to design and build a bespoke system which allows their in-house teams to create individual community consultation microsites.
The system, which is powered by Open Debate, enables Airvolution to generate consultation-enabled microsites in-house which branch off from their new corporate website (which we also designed and developed) via an interactive Google map. By filling in a simple form, Airvolution can effectively build their own websites using a template system. They can determine whether or not each website has a consultation function and, if it does, they can add project specific questions to their online questionnaires.
Each microsite is content managed allowing the project team to easily edit text and add downloads. The Open Debate system also allows them to manage consultation feedback through a bespoke admin area that enables the team to see who has registered and to send responses to users’ questions or comments.
11 September 2012
We have today launched a third online consultation for commercial property developer, Hammerson.
The online consultation invites local residents and stakeholders to have their say on plans for a retail led regeneration proposal, Whitgift Quarter, in the London Borough of Sutton.
The Whitgift Quarter project, based in the London Borough of Croydon, includes plans for 100,000 square metres of retail and restaurant space as well as up to 10,000 square metres of additional leisure space and around 500 homes.
We designed and developed the online consultation, and integrated it into Hammerson’s existing Open Debate system, which they can use to manage the website content and consultation feedback in-house.
The website enables visitors to find out more about the proposal, watch a short video about the project and keep up to date with the projects progress. Vitally, the website also invites users to leave feedback using an interactive questionnaire.
31 July 2012
Consense has recently launched a construction website for AES’ Yelvertoft Wind Farm, which received planning consent in July 2010.
The website features information on the construction process, including a project timeline, layout maps and an image gallery; whilst also enabling users to sign up for email updates and leave comments via a central ‘Contact Us’ page.
Once the built, the wind farm will consist of eight MM92 turbines, each with an installed capacity of 2.05MW.
For further information please see: www.yelvertoft-windfarm.com
06 July 2012
We have today launched an online consultation to engage local stakeholders in plans for the redevelopment of Redhill Station in Surrey. It is our second project for Solum Regeneration, a joint venture between Network Rail and Kier Property, who have plans to revamp a series of railway stations across the South East of England.
The plans for the station improvements - which include a new ticket office, larger concourse area and more ticket machines - are being funded by the redevelopment of the station car park areas, which will deliver a new foodstore, smaller retail units, around 150 new homes for town centre living and will create 100 new jobs.
The Open Debate system enables Solum Regeneration to engage widely and manage several consultation projects using one central management tool.
15 June 2012
Congratulations to our client Iceni Energy who have this week been granted planning permission for the construction of a straw fuelled biomass plant near Snetterton in Norfolk.
We were appointed by Iceni Energy in early 2011 to devise and execute a full service consultation which included traditional face to face activities as well as an interactive website powered by our award-winning Open Debate technology.
The consultation revealed that 50% of respondents were in support of the Snetterton Biomass Plant with a further 23% undecided and only 27% opposed. Once the application was submitted a further 59 letters of support were sent to Breckland Council, as opposed to 46 letters of objection.
Once constructed the 40MW plant will have the capacity to power between 62,000 and 68,000 homes which will in turn prevent carbon emissions of up to 120,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
For more information see: www.snettertonbiomassplant.co.uk
07 June 2012
As we continue to expand our portfolio of clients, we are delighted to announce the first of multiple online consultations for Solum Regeneration, a joint venture between Network Rail and Kier Property to revamp a series of railway stations across the South East of England.
On Thursday 24th May we launched the consultation website for Haywards Heath Station in West Sussex which is powered by our award winning Open Debate system. The project, which aims to regenerate land around Haywards Heath Station, includes a new Waitrose foodstore, a café and a restaurant as well as improved transport links for railway users.
The consultation website allows visitors to find out more about the proposal, watch a short video about the project, register for updates and of course leave feedback using an online questionnaire and open comments box.
With several projects in the pipeline, it is was vital we provide Solum with the means to manage several consultations at once and as such we have built an Open Debate master system which allows them to manage content and report on the feedback received for all their live consultation projects simultaneously.
27 April 2012
Following our appointment earlier this month by the national house builder, we have launched our first online consultation for Taylor Wimpey and their plans to redevelop the former Cadbury’s site in Keynsham, Somerset.
The online consultation provides details of the plans and the engagement process, and invites stakeholders to register to receive news and submit comments. The Open Debate system enables the project team to manage the feedback they receive and respond to queries and comments in an auditable manner.
19 April 2012
Consense is delighted to announce that we have been appointed by Taylor Wimpey Bristol to manage an online consultation for a major redevelopment scheme.
A consultation site will be launched for the project in the coming weeks. We will post more information as it becomes available.
04 April 2012
Consense would like to extend it's congratulations to client Viking Energy on receiving planning consent for a 103 turbine onshore windfarm in Shetland. As one of Consense's first clients to adopt the Open Debate online consultation system, Viking Energy have been running a comprehensive consultation process since 2007 and over 600 people have registered to engage online.
The 370MW wind farm will have the capacity to generate enough energy to power more than 175,000 homes and will bring a £30m annual income for the local community.
For more information, see www.vikingenergy.co.uk
03 April 2012
Consense has been appointed by AGRenewables to manage public consultation for a number of proposed wind energy schemes across the UK.
Work has started on several proposed single wind turbines at a number of brownfield sites around the country, with Consense managing the full consultation process, including strategy, stakeholder and community liaison, online consultation and reporting.
03 February 2012
We are pleased to announce the first fundraising initiative by Consense in support of our charity partners Renewable World.
For every twitter follower of @ConsenseUK we have by the start of the Olympics, we pledge to donate 10p to support renewable energy projects in poorer parts of the world. Our goal is to reach 2012 followers by the opening ceremony on the 27th July 2012. If we achieve this, our Twitter Challenge could raise a maximum of £201.20
In addition to this challenge, we have many other fundraising ideas in the pipeline so keep checking back for future updates. Meanwhile, follow us @ConsenseUK and don’t forget to retweet too!
For further information on the work of Renewable World visit http://www.renewable-world.org/
02 February 2012
As developers make ready for the introduction of the coalition government’s Localism Bill, Jess gives some timely advice on how to persuade local communities of the need to recognise and accept their new found responsibilities for local planning.
Click on this link to see the article in full and find out more about how to engage communities in an effective and meaningful manner. http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/740a33a2#/740a33a2/34
19 January 2012
Consense is managing the public consultation process for Charles Church Developments Ltd and City & Provincial Properties PLC on plans to develop ’Wandle Riverside’, a sustainable mixed-use development on the Wandle Valley Trading Estate site in Hackbridge.
The scheme will include approximately 120 new homes; an enhanced public route along the River Wandle; and the opportunity to maintain long-term employment. It is envisaged the homes at the Wandle Riverside scheme will be 3 or 4 bedroom family homes which will enable families to maintain and put down roots in Hackbridge. There may also be a small number of apartments. Some of the homes will be affordable housing; with the final number to be agreed with the Local Authority. Homes will be sustainable, built to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Consense has launched an online consultation; is running public and stakeholder exhibitions; and has sent letters and newsletters to residents, councillors and third party groups. This will enable Charles Church and City & Provincial to collect valuable feedback before a detailed planning application is submitted to the London Borough of Sutton in late February.
Consense has also carried out initial research, compiled a consultation strategy, and is managing media relations.
For further information please visit www.wandleriverside.co.uk
18 January 2012
Infinergy Ltd is proposing to construct and operate an onshore wind farm known as Limekiln Wind Farm. The site is located around 1.5km south of Reay, Caithness in the Highlands of Scotland. The land is currently used as a commercial woodland plantation and is approximately 11km2.
The proposal is still at an early stage in its design but a 30-50 turbine scheme is anticipated with the potential to produce enough green electricity to meet the annual demand of around 50,000 households per year.
Infinergy has completed the scoping stage of the development and submitted the report to the Scottish Government and all relevant consultees. The full Scoping Report can be found in the downloads section of the website.
The full application, which will include an Environmental Impact Assessment, will be submitted to the Scottish Government later this year following public consultation, providing local residents and businesses the opportunity to have their say on the proposed development.
04 January 2012
We have been appointed by Charles Church Developments Ltd to plan and manage public consultation for a forthcoming sustainable mixed-use development.
Charles Church has grown to establish itself as one of the country’s foremost housebuilding brands; whilst maintaining its unrivalled reputation for the design and quality of the country homes, landmark city and waterside schemes it builds.
More information will be posted soon
21 December 2011
Plans by Churchmanor Estates Company for Chequers Court, Huntingdon, have received planning consent.
We launched the consultation for the scheme in July 2010, outlining proposals to transform the Chequers Court area with a new shopping centre and a selection of several large and small shops; all designed to attract new high quality retailers to the town centre. Plans also include a stylish restaurant unit with a raised open seating area created to enhance the food offering in Huntingdon.
This scheme aims to complement the proposed plans put forward by Sainsbury’s and the District Council for converting the existing supermarket into retail units and a new multi-storey car park respectively. When finished the new development will see the town centre completely revitalised with more parking and a great variety of shops and restaurants.
Our work included research and strategy and managing an online consultation and a public exhibition.
We would like to extend our congratulations to Churchmanor and all involved in the project.
11 November 2011
We saw off competition from seven other businesses, in the ‘Advisor of the Year - Technical' category at the inaugural national Renewable Energy Infrastructure Awards 2011, held at The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London on the 10th November. The award champions excellence in supporting the development of renewable and low-carbon energy projects, and was presented to us by Charles Hendry, Minister of State for DECC. Jessica Topham, Director for Consense said, “We are absolutely thrilled to win this award. This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our small but highly skilled team who work tirelessly to achieve success for our clients. To be chosen as winners in this category is fantastic recognition for us and should help inform those in industry about the benefits of meaningful and effective community consultation in renewable energy projects”.
27 October 2011
Speaking at the Renewable UK Conference in Manchester, the home of the first industrial revolution, The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP argued that renewable energy will deliver a third industrial revolution for Britain. He said, "I want to take aim at the curmudgeons and faultfinders who hold forth on the impossibility of renewables. Yes, the UK is only 2 percent of global carbon emissions. But if we grasp the opportunity now our businesses and economy can be much more than 2 percent of the solution."
He went on to address three renewable energy myths. The first that renewables are uneconomic and held up by government cash alone. The second that renewables cannot deliver secure power at scale and the third: people don’t want renewables. The full speech covers these and other points very well and is definitely worth reading. Indeed, in tackling the third myth he echoed a sentiment which resonates strongly with us at Consense, "We must ensure the silent majority aren’t drowned out by the vocal minority – those opposed to renewable energy in all its forms"
Huhne cited an Ipsos MORI poll asking for UK views on wind (82% favourable) and gas (56%) and stresses the industry must carry on making the case for renewables. Engaging with communities – and answering its critics by delivering renewable schemes that save money and save carbon.
We at Consense couldn’t agree more! Our trusted approach to consultation is essential in enabling industry to do just this and as Mr Huhne said we currently have a golden opportunity which we need to take.
26 October 2011
We are delighted to announce our new charity partnership with Renewable World.
As a business which specialises in community engagement for the renewable energy sector, it makes perfect sense for us to team up with the charity and help bring sustainable energy to poverty stricken areas across the globe.
Renewable World, formally known as the Koru Foundation, is a UK based charity set up by individuals from the renewable industry in 2007 to act as the link between the European renewable energy sector and poor communities who are most vulnerable to climate change.
It tackles poverty in developing countries by enabling the provision of affordable renewable energy systems for remote off-grid communities. These projects light up homes, schools and clinics. Clean water is pumped to households for washing, cleaning and cooking, and to fields for crop irrigation. Access to energy stimulates trade and enterprise and improves access to health and education opportunities.
Consense employees will spend the next year raising money in a number of ways such as sporting challenges and will also explore ways to work alongside other companies in the renewables sector to help raise as much money as possible for the charity.
More news on our fund raising activities will follow soon.
07 October 2011
We have launched a pre-registration page for the Sevenstone, Hammerson retail regeneration scheme for Sheffield City Centre.
The development programme for the scheme was impacted by the recession in 2009 and over the past 18 months the consented scheme has been fully reviewed by Hammerson in close collaboration with Sheffield City Council. Following the review the compulsory purchase order has been implemented and Hammerson have looked to extend the existing planning permission.
Registered users will be notified when the consultation opens.
30 September 2011
Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa is developing The Jeffreys Bay Wind farm, located in the Eastern Cape between the surfing town of Jeffrey's Bay and Humasndorp. This is a 138MW renewable energy project. Mainstream South Africa intend to install approximately 60wind turbines and feed the 478,716,480 kwh of electricity per annum into the existing 132kV Eskom transmission line that crosses the project site to meet their national need for clean electricity. The project aims to start construction Q2 2012.
The Jeffreys Bay Windfarm represents one of most progressed wind farm development projects in South Africa. This flagship project is essentially ‘shovel ready' and is currently preparing to make its application to the Department of Energy's renewable energy procurement process in November 2011.
14 September 2011
Regeneco, part of the Galliford Try group, is exploring the possibility of a small wind farm adjacent to the M40, between Shotteswell and Hanwell, north of Banbury.
The project is currently at a very early stage and Regeneco is assessing the site's suitability. Once this has been established, an initial scheme will be proposed. This is not likely to happen until 2013 once a number of feasibility studies and on-site wind monitoring have been completed.
At this stage, however, it is thought the site could accommodate a small wind farm (five to eight turbines with a maximum tip height of 130m), which would produce around 10 - 20MW of clean, green energy.
06 September 2011
Plans by vogt solar for an old quarry site at Crossways Pit to be transformed into a solar farm have been approved.
The consultation was launched in January 2011and outlined plans for a 5MW solar farm at Crossways Pit, Redbridge Road, Dorset.
We managed the pre and post submission consultation for this scheme from initial strategy to managing public exhibitions, media relations, enquiry management and reporting.
We would like to extend our congratulations to vogt solar and all involved in the project