The challenge

Cawingredients is a successful soft drinks manufacturer in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire. They have acquired land as Aiskew Moor, east of Leeming Bar, with the aim of expanding their successful manufacturing business in Hambleton and establishing a new high-quality, bespoke facility close to its existing operations.

Hambleton District Council has a requirement to deliver 77.61 hectares of employment land through its recently adopted Local Plan. This site was allocated as an employment site in the Local Plan and offers a unique opportunity for this need to be met and makes the most of the area’s prominent location and excellent transport links.

The Local Plan consultation process was heavily criticised by the local community and an active opposition group was formed. The community no longer trusted the Council. Cawingredients is a private, family business with no public presence. They have no website and no external branding on their buildings. Myths, misunderstandings and conspiracy theories filled up the communications void surrounding Cawingredients’ acquisition of the site.

We undertook a comprehensive programme of communications, consultation and engagement to consult on the planning proposals and rebuild trust.

Activity included: meetings with local political and community stakeholders, online consultation portal, community drop in events and facilitated on site meetings with residents.

Our solution

Social, on behalf of Cawingredients, established a working group of residents, elected members and businesses, alongside Cawingredients, to assist in shaping the proposals in advance of submission of the planning application.

Representatives came from a cross-section of the community to encourage discussion between all interested parties relating to the design, construction and operation of the proposed facility.  Members of the group included:

  • Hambleton District Council – Bedale Ward Member
  • North Yorkshire County Council – Aiskew and Leeming Electoral Division Member
  • Aiskew and Leeming Bar Parish Council Member
  • North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
  • Hambleton District Council – Planning Department
  • Members of the community

The group was completed by:



Cawingredients representative

Planning Consultant


Specialist attendees: noise consultant, highways consultant, drainage consultant

We invited member of the community through conversations at the public drop in exhibitions. Three local residents put themselves forward and became members of the group. They acted as representatives of the community and were encouraged to bring questions from their neighbours and friends to the group as well as feeding back.

Five meetings, as well as a site visit, were held in total in advance of submission of the planning application. Terms of reference were agreed for the group and minutes were taken at meetings and hosted online on the consultation website.

What was achieved

Through facilitated constructive discussion, a revised site masterplan was developed alongside the group, and included revisions to the plans:

  • Relocation of car parks further away from homes
  • The removal of HGV docks on the western and southern elevations
  • Cladding colour changed from grey (as per existing factory) to muted green palette to better complement site surroundings
  • Agreed use for public recreation area on the western plot of land including cycleways and footpaths
  • HGV restrictions around the perimeter road (no HGVS between 9pm and 7am)
  • Location of the pedestrian/cycle link onto Low Street
  • Inclusion of solar PV panels on the roof of the factory
  • A landscaping zone incorporating evergreen trees and shrubs