Sustainable communities are places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They are sensitive to their environment, and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and inclusive, well planned, built and run, and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all.
We pride ourselves on engaging with the right people, in the right way and at the right time. Our approaches differ for each project we undertake because no community is the same, but our objectives are the same – that is to get the buy-in of people and groups from the beginning and ensure that consultations start with an honest intent.
We also work closely with our partner the Sustainable Land Trust to encourage and facilitate involvement of the community.
BREEAM Communities and Planning
We are proud to be managing and assessing a large scale proposal to create an extension to a rural Lincolnshire village using the BREEAM Communities methodology. The tool has been developed to engage communities and stakeholders at the earliest point in a scheme in order to understand the needs of the village or town. The engagement process includes working with Parish Council’ schools, churches, local community groups, businesses and individuals to inform the design and content of a scheme and to be the conduit to keep local people informed and involved.
We have so far carried out face to face, telephone and email consultations with people, groups, business and organisations, as well as organising community visioning events. We have created a dedicated website and Facebook page which we use to receive comments and to share information.
We were asked to provide sustainability and community engagement support to help develop a small eco-lodge proposal in Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire. Due to mis-information, the community were adverse to the proposal initially, thinking that it would be a site for travellers. Our role was to provide the right information to local people and businesses and to engage them in what would be an exciting new opportunity for low impact tourism within their community.
Working with our associates at Acorn Planning, we carried out community consultation and engagement events and activities to ensure that the right information was understood and how the village would benefit from the proposal. Working door to door; ringing local businesses; and holding consultation events, the team were able to turn around this project, and it won planning approval in early 2014.