Case Study: 210 houses & care home, East Dorset District Council


A consortium asked SP Broadway to run the community consultation for its plans to build 210 new homes and a care home on the site of a former military hospital in East Dorset.


The access route for the planned development would lead onto the already-congested A31, raising concerns amongst residents about increased traffic levels. Additionally, the hospital was located in an environmentally sensitive area with acid grasslands, bats, badgers and reptiles.


  • We first took out a subscription to local newspapers to keep aware of planning and development issues in East Dorset and the views of key stakeholders, circulating relevant articles to the project team in a weekly email.
  • We then organised a public exhibition, advertised in local newspapers. The exhibition was attended by 189 residents and stakeholders and 59 filled in a feedback form. Analysis of the forms showed 97% of respondents either supported or did not explicitly oppose the proposals, though there were understandable concerns about traffic and access.
  • After the exhibition we set up a consultation website to enable interested residents to access up-to-date and accurate information about the scheme 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Once the proposals had been revised to address concerns we organised a second exhibition, attended by 191 residents and stakeholders. 39 attendees completed feedback forms, with analysis revealing fewer concerns about traffic and access and majority support for proposed ecological protection measures.
  • After the second exhibition we drafted a concise three-page briefing letter to send to planning committee members ahead of determination; however this letter was not ultimately sent since feedback from the council was overwhelmingly positive in the run-up to committee.


The proposals were unanimously approved by East Dorset District Council Planning Committee.

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