Menie Masterplan Consultation

I have today been invited to a "preview of the developing masterplan exhibition and a presentation by Gareth Hoskins Architects".

The Exhibition will then run from 11am to 7pm on Friday 18th September and from 11am to 5pm on Saturday 19th September.

Venue: White Horse Inn, Balmedie.

Now PAN 83 Masterplanning makes some comments on people's involvement in the process

"When creating successful places, people must be at the heart of the process. The local community's understanding of the needs of an area are invaluable in establishing priorities and arriving at a vision for a place. Once the local community and key stakeholders (the community in its widest sense) have been identified, early discussions can provide a wealth of information about the area's history and how it functions. An engagement plan could be devised to identify mechanisms for involving the community. These will establish opinions and confirm local people's aspirations for the place. Various types of interests may have to be engaged in different ways. Those planning on engaging local communities throughout a masterplanning process may want to think about the following questions.

Some useful questions to consider when thinking about engaging with the community
  • How will the community be made aware of the programme for participation?
  • How will those most likely to be affected be given opportunities to make their views known?
  • Will the engagement be in a manner, location and at a time that allows a wide range of people to make their views known?
  • How will the masterplanning team analyse the results of the engagement and provide feedback to the community?
  • How will the masterplanning team respond in amending the masterplan?
  • How will the community be able to review any changes to the masterplan?
  • Where changes are made, how will details of revised plans be publicised with an explanation of how people's views have influenced it?
  • How will a management scheme be devised in collaboration with local communities? (For example, the developer may consider assigning community representatives on to a local project review or management panel.)
  • How will development agreements be developed in discussion with local communities?
The engagement process should be carefully planned and supported by the team involved in the project, or where necessary, skilled facilitators. The success of the process will depend on its participants playing a key part, and knowing that their involvement can make a difference. It's useful if they have access to appropriate information and support throughout the masterplan process, and preferably a single point of contact. Further guidance on effective community engagement is available in PAN 81: Community Engagement, Planning with People."

It will be interesting to hear what the process of engagement is proposed to be - 14 hours of exhibition is not the type of "engagement" that the Scottish Government holds up as exemplars of good practice.

I'll ask for a copy of the Engagement Plan to be published.

Update : Friday evening
Oh dear.

I asked about the Engagement Plan so I could keep the community informed and was told by email from the lovely Sarah Malone

"thank you also for your offer to help with our community engagement exercise. This, however, will not be necessary as we have a top team managing the process on our behalf, including the author of PAN."

This was confirmed last night by no less than Ann Foulds, Head of Planning and legal at Dundas and Wilson, who amplified that an engagement plan did exist but that it would not be made public. How odd that they are not willing to share this pretty innocuous information

1 comment:

  1. Sadly Debra it smacks to me of a need to know basis and unfortunately you don't need to know...Nice to see the Head of engagement is a head planning and legal eagle at Dundas and Wilson.

    The danger here is that what the public get is a clinical response to questions and queries rather than a sense of the passion and interest in both the project and the people. In short a stock legal answer is not what engagement is all about... as the last thing the public need when asking difficult questions is a legalistic answer or lecture on the finer points of the law (pardon if that sounds dysengenuous as we fall back on what we know and a lawyer knows the law)

    In my view it comes across a heavy handed way to present an engagement plan employing a top legal eagle though.

    That is not to say the lady in question won't present well or will not be eloquent it is just dependent on what her client has instructed her to present.

    The key to successful engagement here is what level of justice* will prevail within the engagement process will it be

    Loyal Justice: where a person strives to fulfill all laws which are mandatory to obey, in doing so they, do not go a step further than these legal norms such a person neither creates nor violates laws - but will take what is his own, even if his neighbour will suffer from this.

    Or Correct Justice: who strives to fulfil what is necessary not only according to external laws and customs, but also according to conscience. As a result they treat everyone equally; they are peaceful, polite and careful with all. They will willingly respond to a request for a service and try to do everything they have promised, often freeing other people from difficulties.

    The choice is really up to the Trump presentation team, clearly the whole purpose of the engagement plan is for Correct engagement not a loyal compliance to the words written in an statute be it Act, Directive or Regulation.

    (*had the third and highest form of justice been adopted there would be no question of CPO)

    The Menie saga reminds me of the children's tale of the fight by the Sun and the Wind to get a man's coat off for all its bluster power and strength all the wind did was cause the man to more firmly wrap himself in it, whereas the sun simply made the man feel pleasant and he took his coat off... maybe there is a lesson for the Trump Organisation in there somewhere

    Food for thought...


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