The Brook Road site in Speedwell sits in a mixed residential and employment area a mile from the M32 junction.
Local concerns included traffic and access, noise during construction, parking and visual impact
A former landfill site surrounded on three sides by houses, it had been fenced off for some years. However, a covenant on the land led some locals to believe it should be a sports field.
Key local concerns included traffic and access, noise during construction, parking and visual impact. There was also a real local perception that this site would constitute a loss of public open space, despite having been inaccessible for years. Contamination from the former landfill was also an issue locally.
Against this background we undertook a comprehensive consultation and local engagement programme. The programme included meetings with ward members and other councillors to discuss the proposals, a project website with an online comments facility, letters to residents and stakeholders, a programme of media relations, advertisement in the local press and a full day public exhibition. We also held a stakeholder workshop which targeted key members of the local community.
The final proposals balanced the concerns of residents living closest to the site, with the wider local need for more family and affordable housing. Barratt Homes looked at issues such as whether trees should be planted behind houses on Speedwell Road to accommodate individual preferences of local residents.
As a result, and despite strong local opposition to the principle of development, permission was granted.