Effective engagement delivers ‘no brainer’ result for Dove Lane.
Places for People’s plans for the central Bristol brownfield site are an opportunity to provide the homes the people of St Paul’s need, whilst adding to the vibrancy of the area.
The sustainable proposals include 72 affordable homes, flexible community or commercial space, high-quality welcoming outdoor space, and a new public square to help integrate the plans with St Paul’s. The site itself has a complex history and communities from the surrounding area are sensitive to gentrification brought about by changes to the built environment. These factors meant that comprehensive engagement and careful communication were vital, so local people felt ownership of the plans.
After engaging and building support from senior councillors, ward members and key local groups we launched a multi-channel engagement exercise anchored by our interactive map tool to invite people to comment on the surrounding area.
By inviting people to comment not just on what was proposed but on the wider neighbourhood too we built an evidence base of what people thought about the area – what they liked, what they didn’t like and their ideas to improve it.
This powerful tool encourages people to engage more constructively. Rather than making a binary decision about what’s proposed people become responsible for shaping the future of their area. This drastically improves the quality of feedback. Our social media campaign to promote the opportunity to comment reached more than 60,000 people and attracted hundreds to the website.
We also helped Places for People identify opportunities to create social value through well-targeted stakeholder engagement. We facilitated connections with local organisations including Black South West Network, 1625 Independents and an emerging group seeking to progress a neighbourhood plan and summarised the commitment to social value through a social impact report shared with stakeholders.
By going above and beyond to engage inclusively and to foster support we positioned the project as the right solution for the site, St Paul’s and Bristol; secured support from influential stakeholders and engaged in collaboration with community influencers. Local community leaders and ward members helped promote the consultation positively and the cabinet member for housing delivery and homes was quoted in our consultation media release. Now councillors have backed the plans the team is working with officers and the local community so that the plans can be brought forward at pace.