On behalf of Hansteen, Orbit Communications used the PlaceChangers platform to deliver an interactive pre-application consultation for their Gilston Park development, Scotland.
Falkirk Council identified the site for a mixed-use development including residential, business and employment land, and local town centre function. A large share of the site required careful planning of green and open spaces for recreation, play and sport.
This consultation was for a permission in principle. The format of the consultation was therefore focused on high level principles of the development, including the access points, greenspaces, and the key development zones.
What was done
Orbit Communications set up a consultation on the PlaceChangers platform and embedded it to their existing consultation website. For this, they used the simple consultation widget provided by the PlaceChangers platform. In addition to simple response forms, this web-based consultation enabled the public to see master plan in its context and comment directly on the proposals.
Orbit Communications promoted this consultation using flyers to local residents, press releases referring to a kick-off consultation event, and a range of stakeholder meetings. They also encouraged local residents to visit the consultation with social media adverts. The consultation programme was built around a live kick-off event, in which the team presented the development concept, answered questions, and invited participants to respond online in follow-up.
What outcomes did the client achieved?
Overall 1500 people visited the project web site, and a total of 70 participants responded to the consultation.
Orbit Communications used a standard response form alongside the PlaceChangers platform, effectively offering respondents different ways to engage with the project.
In response to the two different channels, the project team members remarked that 90% of the responses on the PlaceChangers platform were constructive in comparison to those from the form on the website, which provided less scope for design-related suggestions.
Some of these responses can be seen below, for instance, locating key issues with access roads proposals “Currently a very busy road which I use for both car and cycle - needs significant upgrade work at the western end”. “Concern would be that high density housing would end up being the affordable housing only - development should be truly mixed, in tenure, density, and looks."
The consultation enabled urban designers at Barton Willmore to amend proposals prior to submission to Falkirk Council.
As a leading communications firm in Scotland, Orbit Communications is always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver web-based digital consultations.
The PlaceChangers platform was ideal for a masterplan project of this size. It was great value for money, enhanced our engagement programme and fit into our existing web architecture.
I'd highly recommend Sebastian and the PlaceChangers team. They were very quick to respond to any technical queries and were on hand when needed, often at short notice.
Alastair Stewart, Account Manager (Orbit Communications)