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Note: This blog is no longer active - please visit my new site at HAT Projects where you will find our new blog!

Thursday, April 06, 2006
Community 'consultation' a sham - shock!
Heritage Link have published a survey that shows that, surprise, local groups think planners only listen to them when their views coincide with the foregone conclusion and 'Only 41% of all respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the way their organisation had been consulted.'

And moreover, the new planning process of Local Development Frameworks, that was meant to make 'partnership' working and consultation a much more integrated process, is a waste of time: "‘Our first impressions of the new Local Development Frameworks processes are that they are convoluted, bureaucratic, time-consuming, resource intensive and likely to fail.’ And LDF jargon won the prize for gobbledegook."

Press release here(pdf). While clearly they are focusing on heritage issues and groups, it seems that consultation is a hot topic this week, with BDP launching a bid to pacify 'militant' locals over their work in Archway (comment from the AJ for subs only). The Better Archway Forum, which counts many local architects in its numbers, launched a competition for a rival masterplan in February and now BDP is trying the 'if you can't beat them, join them' tactic by inviting members to a charrette to 'workshop ideas' for the area.

As far as I'm concerned its great to see real activism having an effect and not only 'local people' but local professionals getting involved. Too often I feel 'community groups' don't look to the expertise in local professionals who would often be only to happy to help out, not only for the good of the area but also to boost their profile on high-profile sites where they'd never have the chance to actually win a normal tender.


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