Co-creating in your neighbourhood
22 August 2012
July 2012 saw the re-launch of our consultation websites as part of our commitment to engage local communities in the design of our new schemes. An example can be seen here for our latest proposals for Poole in Dorset.
These websites are just one part of our work with local people to design our developments before we submit a planning application. We also hold community exhibitions, send out newsletters to 1,000 neighbouring households and meet residents, councillors and other stakeholders one-to-one to explain our plans and seek their feedback.
We know our customers want services and products built around their needs and our approach to designing and developing new schemes is no different. Our in-house architects, town planners and construction teams work closely with local people in the communities where we wish to build to design the right plan for each location.
Engaging and consulting during the planning process is a growing requirement under the new ‘Localism’ agenda, where local authorities and communities are being asked to play a greater role in decision-making. Yet it’s something we’ve been doing long before Localism became fashionable.
We have had an active programme of community engagement on our applications for many years and it is just one part of our wider commitment to ‘co-create’ our products and services with customers, communities and other partners. It helps us prepare the best schemes by identifying the things we’re getting right and addressing what we’re getting wrong before our plans are finalised. We can’t promise to deliver everything that people ask for, but we are committing to trying.
We have also launched two panels to advise us on our approach to engagement and design. The first is a network of 16 residents taken from our schemes, known as the Independent Network of McCarthy & Stone Residents (InFoRM). The second is a panel of external experts, who are all over 55, to help us develop services and guide our approach, called the Greater Life Advisory Board (GLAB). Together, they are instrumental in guiding our work.
These are just some of the activities where we are working to co-create our products and services with local people. Please take a look at our new consultation websites to let us know what you think.