Killearn: three-way consultation
The 36-house development proposal represented the first new homes to be built in Killearn for over 20 years. The site was allocated in the Local Development Plan for housing, and although Pre-Application Consultation was not a statutory requirement, the developer, Mactaggart and Mickel, was keen to ensure that the local community was given the opportunity to positively influence the design and layout of the scheme.
What they did
The developer invested in a two year community engagement process, working with the local Community Council and local authority to maximise community involvement and create a sympathetic design-led development. The engagement process enabled the local community to make suggestions which influenced various aspects of the development. These included a reduction in density and the number of units, more smaller homes, alterations to the layout, improved pedestrian access, a revised mix of homes in response to a needs assessment by the Community Council, and replacement of the council’s preferred option of a mini-roundabout with a priority junction (again in response to the Community Council). A preferred construction supply chain vehicular route was also agreed with the community and the local authority in order to avoid the village centre.
One of the public events held during the engagement process was an evening panel discussion. Interestingly, the panel included the Council’s planning officer alongside representatives from the developer and their design team. Having the planning officer there to independently and objectively explain the planning policy situation for the site, for example, helped the community to make informed judgments about the proposal.
For more details of the Killearn housing development, you can read the full version of the report.