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Lidl, Grove

How PLMR secured planning consent for a new Lidl store



Services provided

The Situation

Having run a traditional public exhibition in-house, Lidl’s proposals for a new store in Oxfordshire attracted loud opposition from a small number of vocal residents. Lidl appointed PLMR to turn around views of the application and identify support from within the community.

What we did

Recognising that traditional means had not been effective, we proposed a digital approach which relied on Facebook advertising to spread the positive message about development and gather support.

We used a consultation website to communicate the proposals and promoted this using targeted Facebook advertising. By using this approach, we reached 25,000 people within the local community.

An online poll showed 80% support for the new Lidl store. Residents’ involvement increased pressure on decision-makers.

The Result

Initially, the scheme was set to be refused by planning officers using delegated powers. Instead, we managed to secure a call-in to ensure the proposals were decided by the Planning Committee and secured planning consent by overturning the planning officer’s recommendation at the meeting.

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PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.