Delivering Community Benefits

Catesby Estates help deliver sustainable developments and homes where people have the opportunity to take their first steps on the housing ladder, buy a family home, or downsize.

Our developments help maintain and enhance the vitality of existing communities through job creation and socio-economic growth.

Considerations for the environment and sustainability are at the forefront of our decision-making process. 

For example electric charging points, early landscape planting and biodiversity improvements are just some of the features included in our sites.

All our sites provide policy compliant levels of affordable housing, and significant public open space as a key feature.

We consult with leading ecology and landscaping experts to ensure ample public space is provided within developments for both residents and local wildlife to flourish.

By approaching residential development in the right way, we can leave a positive legacy for the area, and build a level of trust as a preferred land promoter.

Could our approach to community engagement help you?

Communication Is A Two-Way Process 

We look to involve the community at an early stage, so they can help inform our final proposals, helping to underpin the vision of our developments.

Not limited to desk research, we pride ourselves on our ‘boots on the ground’ approach.  We don’t shy away from difficult conversations, and we are always happy to engage with local residents, community groups, elected representatives and other key stakeholders.

This enables us to better understand the local issues and seek to offer real tangible benefits to the local community.

A perceived lack of transparency or openness and a deficit of communication and engagement, breeds resent and cynicism, which often manifests itself in direct opposition both at a political and local level.

Section 106 And CIL

We are open and honest about the choices and trade-offs we all must  face if we are to meet the UK’s need for more homes.  Development generates significant financial contributions.

A Section 106 is a legal agreement with the local planning authority, which ensures the community benefits and infrastructure required in support of development is delivered.

In addition to S106 contributions, the Community Infrastructure Levy (the ‘levy’) is a further tool for Local Authorities to fund infrastructure improvements from new development.

Between 15-25% of CIL receipts secured from development are ring fenced to be spent by the local community.

A Right To Be Heard

How we interact and air our views has changed for at least the short to medium term due to the Covid pandemic, and many of the standard planning public consultation methods have fallen by the wayside due to social distancing restrictions.

Research by Shelter has found people who are opposed to local housing are three times more likely to actively oppose than supporters are to actively support an application (21% compared to 7%). 

This means many voices are not being heard by the planning system.

Often the loudest voice and those most actively involved in community engagement are those against development, believing it will have a negative impact on the area.  Public exhibitions are often dominated by individuals who own their own home, have high disposable incomes and have the time and means to attend in person.  Pre-Covid this was certainly our experience.

We are now all familiar with Teams and Zoom calls which can overcome many of the time and accessibility barriers that prevented people from attending in person consultation events

Engaging The Silent Majority

‘The silent majority’, including young workers, families and people with disabilities, often find it difficult to attend and engage.

Yet often they have the most to gain from new housing, employment and other benefits created by development.

We use the power of social media to overcome many of the time and accessibility barriers that prevent people from attending traditional consultation events.

There are circa 42 million Facebook users in the UK with more than 60% in the 18 – 44 age bracket.

Adverts and posts on a range of topics about our proposals can be shared with a large audience and comments can be monitored for feedback.

This means there is potential to gather opinion from a wider cross section than just those who would attend traditional consultation events.

 

Keeping The Lines Of Communication Open

A range of options for feedback are provided throughout the process including:

Online Forms, Email, Freepost and Telephone

Where contact has been made, we provide regular updates to maintain relationships during the life cycle of our involvement with the site and during handover to the housebuilder.

By listening and responding to the community and the feedback received, we adapt our proposals where possible to ensure the community recognises their meaningful input has been recognised.

Which in turn helps to develop trust between us and the local stakeholders.

By embracing technology to change the face of public consultation, maybe just maybe we might encourage more people to engage in the planning process and the silent majority might find their voice, ultimately securing more support for new homes.

Find out today if you land has residential development potential.