Previous community consultations struggled to engage with people who lived directly adjacent to or overlooking the site. We were asked to provide additional support to reach these people. We developed a two stage approach to work with this very local community and allow them to participate in the design process.

We hand delivered invitations to local residents and put up posters in key local destinations: shops, post offices, the GP surgery and the entrances to the residential towers. We also designed an online survey for people who may have not wanted to speak in person but still wanted to participate.

Display boards and discussions with local residents at the first consultation event.
Display boards and discussions with local residents at the first consultation event.

For the first stage we held a community event with free refreshments and play activities for children. The aim was to meet these people and hear how the space is currently used, their thoughts and feelings about the site and the surrounding landscape.

Using easy to understand display boards, avoiding jargon and technical terms, we helped break down the barrier between designers and residents. We asked for their thoughts and feedback on the proposed location and massing of the new homes. We used precedent images to help inspire residents to give their thoughts on what they would like to see in the space around the new homes.

Free refreshments and activities for children helped encourage people to participate in the event.
Free refreshments and activities for children helped encourage people to participate in the event.
One of the posters advertising the consultation on a main route between houses and the shops.
One of the posters advertising the consultation on a main route between houses and the shops.

For the second stage we ran an event similar to the first but once the design had been developed. We made presentation boards that clearly explained the design and how their previous comments had influenced it.

Two spaces were identified by us and it was decided that these were going to be co-designed by the new residents of the houses once they moved in. Lemon Balm worked within existing planning structures and systems to ring fence these two areas for future design projects because of the added value to the community.

Lemon Balm worked collaboratively with Bauman Lyons Architects, Urban Wilderness Landscape Architects and our client Leeds Community Homes.

A visual of the proposed homes was used to help discussions with local residents. © Bauman Lyon Architects
A visual of the proposed homes was used to help discussions with local residents. © Bauman Lyon Architects