Public Consultation events are an important part of the Planning process. By explaining ideas and proposals to local residents, Councillors and other stakeholders and by listening to their concerns, the scheme has a much better chance of being understood and gain success when presented to a Planning Committee.
A recent application in Redbridge involved a series of presentations to local residents and stakeholders. The first presentation was met with scepticism and concern but yielded several good ideas, it gave us an understanding of the key concerns and we were able to come back and present a scheme that included many of the recommendations. It also produced an unlikely partnership with the local children’s dance club who will now have a new space in the development. It was evident during the second presentation that local residents were more at ease with the scheme, understood it more and had had time to think and digest the proposals.
The scheme was supported at Committee and praised for the consultation process undertaken, there was also remarkably few letters of objections received for such a major scheme.
It goes to show, talking to people, face to face, is always good, understanding feelings and the emotion of accepting change in the local community is important, however positive we personally believe a building is going to be in the long term.