Five Estuaries Consultation

RWE

| Public consultation

1.

Brief

Organise and hold public consultations in north east Essex to engage and inform local residents about the proposed Five Estuaries offshore wind farm.

2.

What Pier did

Using our years of experience in stakeholder relations we successfully organised and publicised public consultation events. Securing appropriate locations, organising all exhibition and publicity material and running the events on the day.

3.

Impact

The events secured excellent attendance from parish councillors and residents who lived nearby and those who travelled from further afield to find out more about the proposed wind farm. A good response was received with feedback forms gathered on the day, through the online portal and via a Freepost address.

Overview

RWE wanted to launch its first online and physical consultation for Five Estuaries Offshore Wind Farm, to gather views on the proposed extension to the operational Galloper Offshore Wind Farm off the Essex coast. The consultation needed publicising to ensure as many people had their say as possible, with the in-person events giving residents an opportunity to speak to the experts face-to-face and find out more about the project.

Story

Five Estuaries is a proposed extension to the existing Galloper wind farm off the Essex coast. In order to speak to residents who would both see the proposed offshore wind farm extension and be living in the vicinity of a proposed onshore substation and cabling, Pier was tasked with organising a public consultation.

Pier quickly looked at the demographics of the consultation area, creating a stakeholder report for RWE to highlight all necessary information they needed to consider moving forward. Along with identifying key stakeholders, we also identified local media and facts about the population so they could engage with them thoroughly. Recognising a key way of ensuring residents responded to the consultation was through the varied ways they could speak to RWE, Pier organised a freepost address to sit alongside the contact email address and website.

We set about securing two locations for the on day events, ensuring adequate parking, access for residents and a good amount of space. With events in Frinton and Lawford secured, we organised distribution of a Five Estuaries newsletter, with valuable information about the proposed extension and up-to-date information about the plans.

The events themselves required careful planning. From pull up banners with must-read content to A-boards and large-scale maps, Pier directly organised all necessary equipment for on the day. Five Estuaries wanted to ensure as many people as possible knew not only about the online consultation, but the walk-in events too. Pier organised adverts in local newspapers and circulars, liaising with the designer and RWE to ensure all relevant information was correct and in place before they were publicised in the weeks leading up to the events.

On the days themselves, Pier was tasked with ensuring the events ran smoothly. The team collected all consultation items and delivered them to the locations well ahead of time, before setting them up in their correct places. In order to ensure residents’ questions were answered, we ran a welcome desk, introducing them to the consultation and directing them to members of the Five Estuaries team who were best placed to answer their questions. We also ensured members of the public were given and encouraged to complete a feedback form on the proposals.

Dozens of residents from both Frinton and Lawford, as well as neighbouring villages and towns, took advantage of both days to see the plans in person, while speaking to RWE experts about their questions. Leaving nothing to chance, children who attended with their parents were entertained with colouring books, allowing parents the time to ask any questions they wished.

While many feedback forms were collected at the end of each day, we continued to gather further forms as they were sent to the freepost address throughout the online consultation, collating the information for RWE to use and assess.

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Five Estuaries Consultation application

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