a. Engage and involve local communities

Community involvement is, and will be, an essential element of the planning and decision-making processes. In the new planning landscape, local communities will play an even greater role in helping to shape the future of their neighbourhoods to become leaders and champions. This stage moves beyond consultation to initiate engagement and involve local communities in planning and delivery. Community involvement will be essential to:

  • ensure the public is aware of and understands the issues directly affecting them
  • ensure information will be shared with as many people as possible
  • incorporate public input into planning to achieve better implementation strategies and better use of resources

Those who should be involved should also include wider groups of stakeholders and interested parties including:

  • key stakeholders,
  • social, economic and environmental partners,
  • Local strategic partners,
  • Regional offices of delivery agencies (Arts Council, Museum, Libraries and Archives, Sport England, English Heritage, CABE, Play England),
  • advisory bodies (Theatres Trust),
  • community and interest groups (such as community groups (recreational, sports, civic societies, arts and cultural, health, environmental),
  • developers and housebuilders with a land interest, and
  • Locally elected representatives.

Further advice is provided by organisations such as Planning Aid (www.planningaid.rtpi.org.uk) and the Planning Advisory Service (www.pas.gov.uk

Education and information provision.

Leaflets/ brochures, newsletters, unstaffed exhibits/ displays, advertising, local and national newspapers, videos and site visits.     

Information feedback.

Exhibits/displays, telephone help lines, internet, public meetings, surveys, interviews and questionnaires and polls.

Involvement and consultation.

Workshops, focus groups (physical or virtual/ internet).     

Extended involvement.

Swiss Cottage Regeneration Citizen Jury
Regeneration around Swiss Cottage in the London Borough of Camden sought to transform the area into a cultural and leisure quarter. The vision of the project drew on the results of a major consultation exercise through a Citizens Jury in 1997 and further consultation on the design of the scheme in 1999.

Canterbury Future Website
This website offered the opportunity for members of the public to contribute to the vision making process for Canterbury, enabling local decision-makers to make the best possible plans for the future.

Click to access the visioning website