Commercial Estates Group

“Shaping the London skyline”

Commercial Estates Group, a leading property investor, manager and developer, was launched into a media storm when former London Mayor Boris Johnson called in a planning application for a mixed used tower at West India Quay near Canary Wharf. The London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Greater London Authority were immediately on different sides of a public debate over a tall building that could bring jobs and growth to docklands.

Brief
Linstock was brought on board to manage the reputation of the Columbus Tower scheme and CEG during this high profile period.

Activity
CEG found itself at the centre of a controversial test case in planning. Boris Johnson had previously criticised the London Mayor’s powers to call in planning decisions from London boroughs. If CEG became embroiled in the rights and wrongs of that debate, the reputation of the company could be damaged and the ability of CEG to maintain good relationships with other local authorities could be jeopardised. We built relationships with the communications teams at each interested party, compiled a detailed Q&A document and set out a clear communications plan. We advised on media engagement at each stage of the planning process, fielded all media enquiries and prepared CEG spokespeople for media engagement.

Results
The Mayor of London gave planning consent to the scheme. CEG was presented in a positive or neutral light across more than 30 press articles in the trade, local and national press and in TV news bulletins.

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