Community Consultation: McCarthy & Stone
McCarthy & Stone is regarded as the UK market leader of private retirement developments for older people.
Our brief was to design and implement a community consultation programme to support one of its first applications for an Extra Care (Assisted Living) Development for the frail elderly in Scotland. This was a joint application with Cults Parish Church and also included the development of an Outreach Centre for the community.
What we did
We developed an extensive consultation programme, exceeding the National Planning Standards for a major development, which included:
• Key stakeholder meetings with local elected representatives, community councils, immediate neighbours and local community groups to consult on the design of the proposal and to address any reservations
• Engaging with Historic Scotland very early on in the proposal to determine whether the existing church hall building was of sufficient historic or architectural significance to merit listed or protected status
• Newsletters, websites and briefing information distributed to local residents and key stakeholders to keep them informed and to give them a chance to provide feedback
• A public exhibition for local people to view architectural drawings and images of the development and to discuss the proposal with architects and representatives of McCarthy & Stone and the Church
• A programme of media relations, harnessing endorsements from local supporter groups, to raise awareness of the proposal and help build support more widely
• Over 250 people attended the public exhibition and 154 people provided feedback to the consultation – 93% were positive
• Historic Scotland confirmed that the existing buildings did not merit listed or protected status
• The planning application was successfully approved by the City of Aberdeen Council with planners commenting it was: “the best public consultation received for a development of that scale”
We continue to work for McCarthy & Stone on various planning applications for local and major retirement developments across Scotland.