Engagement Plane was created for Hengrove and Whitchurch Park Neighbourhood Planning Forum to consult with local residents on the neighbourhood plan. The park, a former airfield, had been earmarked by the city council for a large mixed development and the park itself to be regenerated as a new green space.
A letter had been sent to 7000 residents, but response rates were very low. The forum was keen to utilise creative methods to engage a broader audience in the consultation.
The heritage of the airfield was very important to local people. Aeroplanes and flight, in general, struck a playful and joyous chord with the community so we created an ‘Engagement Plane’ – a large model plane on wheels that could be written on with chalk. We adapted classic planning consultation tools such as architectural models to be more tactile and playful, drawing on ideas from model trains, dolls houses and Air Fix. We considered how people might engage with the plane and in turn the consultation in an active way.
“Working with Mufti Games on consultation for neighbourhood planning was a huge benefit to the Hengrove and Whitchurch Park project and plan development. Mufti Games push the boundaries of planning consultation, with activities and visuals that attract comment and interaction from everyone!”
Liz Beth, LB Planning
We identified locations to work from – ASDA, the car boot sale, the leisure centre and local schools. The plane drew people in and once engaged we could actively discuss the developments being offered by the council and the alternative local plans. We also ran workshops with 200 local school pupils, whose comments helped to shape the future park. They identified that important routes to play and leisure provision had not been considered and that sightlines could create dangerous and frightening corridors. Following on from this, in a local referendum, the plan was voted in at over 70 per cent. The turnout for voting was over 20 per cent, which for an urban planning referendum is a significant success.