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Consultation and Feedback

At Bromley Council’s Development Control Committee in August 2012, local councillors complimented Altessen on the comprehensive public consultation that was undertaken involving residents and representatives at a Community Planning Day, two public exhibitions and several meetings of the Stakeholder Group.

Objectives

Our aim for Langley Court was to make the consultation on the proposals the most engaging and innovative to date. We are delighted that so many local people have shown a positive interest in the development and are grateful to them for helping us to shape the masterplan.

Community involvement in planning has been shown to accelerate the decision making process, break down barriers and achieve a common sense of ownership. Together these create a shared vision for neighbourhoods which appeals to the people that live there. With a combination of collaborative planning events and use of social media we sought to undertake pre-application community consultation that was participatory, interactive and transparent.

Community Planning

We believe that sustainable development is most effectively achieved if it engages stakeholder knowledge and commitment at every stage of the process. We understand that local people have knowledge of certain issues in their area that our development team will be unaware of. This is why we chose to use participatory techniques, led by the architects John Thompson & Partners (JTP) who are pioneers in this field.

In May 2011, over 100 people attended a Community Planning Day at the Pavilion, Langley Court to participate in creating a new vision for the future of the site. People had the opportunity to tour the site and participate in workshops and hands-on planning groups, to discuss key issues such as community facilities, landscape design, environmental constraints and accessibility. For over a year, following the event, dialogue between the local community and the master planners was maintained through exhibitions, meetings and the establishment of a Stakeholder Group.

To find out more about community planning, you can view a short video about the theory and practice of community planning including an interview with John Thompson, Chairman of JTP.

Social media

In parallel to the community planning activities, we hosted consultation via Facebook, Twitter and this dedicated website. The online consultation provided an opportunity for those who were unable to attend the Community Planning Day to have their say, as well as engaging new audiences such as young people and busy professionals who find it more convenient to participate online. Our consultation team monitored the Facebook and Twitter sites daily.

Summary of community feedback:

Our consultation with local people has had many benefits. Local input has been particularly beneficial in:

  • Achieving an understanding of the local social infrastructure
  • Identifying opportunities to provide new pedestrian and cycle connections
  • Understanding the need to retain and enhance mature landscaping and natural features
  • Producing ideas for the use of the existing sport pitches/open space and the pavilion
  • Understanding local sentiment regarding the possible new community facilities
  • Gaining an insight into the appropriate type of housing
  • Reducing in the density of development
  • Moving from industrial/factory uses in favour of alternative employment use
  • Providing dedicated extra car parking for Langley Waterside
  • Ensuring that the traffic impact on surrounding roads is acceptable
  • Increasing permeability through the site and providing separate access for the sports uses
  • Refining the design of the proposed apartment buildings
  • Maintaining secure boundaries between the existing and proposed residential developments
  • Making provision for the long term sustainability of facilities on site
  • Taking steps to keep the local community involved and informed on progress with the plans for the site.