Engaging the community to deliver affordable homes
Community engagement can pave the way to successful implementation.
We were proud to support engagement on proposals for 70 affordable, sustainable homes in Mid Devon.
About the project
Like many places, Mid Devon needs more affordable homes. Average house prices in the district in 2021 were above £300,000 – more than 11 times the average salary. Cost of living pressures make this situation worse.
Mid Devon’s latest local plan sets out an ambition to deliver 365 homes a year until 2033. In response to this, Mid Devon District Council is taking steps to deliver some much-needed high quality homes in Tiverton.
We were appointed to support the council’s consultation with the local community about its proposals for 70 high quality, sustainable affordable homes at a site in Post Hill. Each of these homes would be built to Passivhaus standard, with solar panels, air source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points included across the development.
As a team with a history of working in the area, with a commitment to delivering great places, it meant a lot to us to support the council’s work to provide these homes for local people.
Mid Devon District Council developed plans for 70 new two, three and four-bedroom houses and flats of social and affordable housing in Tiverton.
Local feedback and support are crucial to any proposed housing development. It was important that local residents, businesses and stakeholders had an opportunity to hear of the plans.
We supported community engagement, to build understanding of the proposal and open up opportunities for feedback.
More than 130 people in the area directly engaged in the consultation process, providing valuable feedback that shaped the plans.
More than 130 attendees attended our consultation
55% of responses were supportive or neutral about the plans
Affordable homes built to the highest international standards for sustainability
What we did
The community engagement launched in April 2022 and included:
• Summarising the plans on the council’s website with a dedicated landing page about the proposals.
• Creating online and offline questionnaires to capture people’s feedback.
• We organised three drop-in events at Tiverton Golf Club, near the proposed development site. All households in the area received a personal letter from the council explaining the plans and inviting them to the sessions.
• The drop in events included creatively designed consultation boards, which project team members commented on as being clear and of a high quality.
• Local social media sites were engaged to help spread the message of the events and promote the consultation and Devon Live published two positive pieces before and after the public consultation for the proposed development. One of these included interviews with the project team at a consultation event, supported with briefing material we prepared for them.
• Representatives from Mid Devon District Council, the project team and ourselves attended to talk people through the plans and answer questions.
More than 130 attendees attended our consultation, with 41 people completing feedback forms.
Of those, 55% of responses were supportive or neutral about the plans.
Planning committee members unanimously voted to support the plans in October 2022, enabling the development of much needed affordable homes in the district.
Andrew Busby, Mid Devon District Council’s corporate manager for property, leisure and climate change, said: “It was important to us that people understood the proposals and had an opportunity to engage, and communications plays an important role in that. Ben’s team played a key role in supporting the consultation and the ultimately positive outcome for the project. Thanks go to them for supporting us.”
Credit: Architectural design and image produced by Saunders Boston Architects.
Credit: Group shot Devon Live
Contact the team about your project
We’re thrilled to help Mid-Devon make a difference and look forward to seeing the development come to life!
If you would like us to support on your local development projects, get in touch.