top of page

How Planning Consultants and Community Engagement Specialists Can Help

Janina White

27 Oct 2023

The Fairmont Windsor Park Hotel, nestled in Surrey, has recently come under fire for significant breaches of planning regulations. The chairman of Arora Group, Surinder Arora, stands at the center of the controversy due to unauthorized additions he made to the hotel. Notable among these additions are a three-storey extension, an upscale VIP entrance, and a lavish royal suite. The Arora Group has shifted the blame for these unauthorized changes onto "commercial pressures" exerted by Fairmont Hotels. They suggest that these additions were vital to meet the high expectations of their four- or five-star hotel guests.

Realizing the gravity of the oversight, Arora took it upon himself to acknowledge these mistakes and subsequently issued a formal apology. He detailed the challenges faced during the construction, highlighting the complexities of building amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. As a radical solution to prevent the potential demolition of the hotel due to these breaches, the Arora Group has floated an alternative proposal: demolishing the neighbouring Parkwood Estate.

The Parkwood Estate, a currently derelict mansion with a history of ownership by the Candy brothers, was acquired by Arora in the previous year. Records indicate that tearing down Parkwood and abandoning its approved redevelopment blueprints could result in financial losses for Arora, potentially running into tens of millions. The rationale behind this drastic measure is that the forfeited floor space from Parkwood might offset the unapproved extensions at the hotel, bringing the overall development back into compliance.

In pursuit of a resolution, the Arora Group has submitted a revised planning application to the Runnymede Council. Their primary goal remains to address the planning discrepancies while ensuring the hotel continues its operations unhindered. As for the fate of this proposal, the Runnymede Council has declared that they will deliberate on the matter and announce their decision at an appropriate time in the future.

How Planning Consultants and Community Engagement Specialists Can Help:

  1. Expert Guidance: Planning consultants offer expertise in understanding local, regional, and national planning policies. They can advise developers on what is permissible and what might face challenges.

  2. Feasibility Studies: Before starting any construction, planning consultants can carry out feasibility studies to determine the viability of proposed projects based on existing regulations.

  3. Engage the Community Early: Community engagement specialists can initiate dialogues with local residents and stakeholders before plans are finalized. This can identify potential objections and areas of concern early on.

  4. Mediation: If conflicts arise, these specialists can mediate between developers and the community to find mutually beneficial solutions.

  5. Transparent Communication: They can ensure that all parties are informed throughout the development process, fostering trust and collaboration.

  6. Manage Public Relations: Proactively managing the narrative around development projects can avoid negative publicity and foster goodwill.

  7. Regular Reviews: Regularly reviewing plans with a planning consultant can ensure that developments remain compliant at every stage.

  8. Understanding of Legal Implications: Planning consultants are well-versed in the legal ramifications of breaching regulations, helping developers avoid costly mistakes.

  9. Feedback Integration: Community engagement specialists can gather feedback from residents and ensure that it's considered in development plans.

By employing both planning consultants and community engagement specialists such as Local Govt Insights, developers can ensure that their projects not only comply with regulations but are also in harmony with the community's needs and concerns.

Janina is a solicitor registered in England and Wales, and the Republic of Ireland, and a member of the American Bar Association. Her extensive legal expertise spans Corporate Law, Sanctions, and Corporate Governance. Beyond law, Janina is a Chartered Company Secretary and showcases a passion for global cultures, evident in her fluency in eight languages. Advising multinational giants, her unique blend of legal acumen and cultural insight sets her apart, offering readers a rich, global perspective on her subjects. Janina is also a private investigator and a member of the Association of British Investigators and she is actively using the investigative techniques (including the use of the Artificial Intelligence, OSINT and HUMINT)  in her legal work.

bottom of page