Using publicly available data for creative newsjacking

When former Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her controversial plans to crack down on solar farms, the UK was in the midst of an ongoing energy crisis. The story dominated the news agenda and there was a clear opportunity to react to it creatively.

Turley is an independent planning and development consultancy in the UK and Ireland. It works with developers to secure planning approval on major schemes, including renewable energy projects.

Liz Truss’ comments on solar farms had received widespread reaction from businesses, academics and climate groups so the competition for coverage was fierce. To secure cut through within this debate, we needed to do more than simply respond with commentary.

Instead, we sought to understand whether solar farm projects were being prioritised by government in the planning stages.

Working alongside Turley’s team, we reviewed five years’ worth of publicly available planning data to gauge whether application approval rates were rising or declining. We found a significant increase in application refusals between the start of 2021 and the summer of 2022, compared to the previous four years.

Using this data, we calculated how much renewable energy Britain could have generated if applications had been granted. This tapped into the ongoing discussions in the media at the time about improving the UK’s energy security.

Within a week of Liz Truss announcing her plans to crack down on solar projects, we shared our analysis with key national journalists. and achieved widespread coverage with standout pieces in The Guardian, The Independent, The Express, Utility Week and Edie.


pieces of coverage in key target media


national media hits


coverage in tier one media

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