Since 2014 we’ve worked with the UK’s largest affordable housing provider Clarion Housing Group and their partners to plan and deliver the transformation of a variety of residential neighbourhoods in southern England. Through a mix of refurbishment, replacement and careful investment in their physical and social fabric, communities are getting a new identity and lease of life. These projects significantly enhance the quality of life and opportunities for current and future residents.
Our team provided strategic communications and design support for projects including Sherwood Close (a 1970s estate in West Ealing), Barne Barton in Plymouth (the UK’s largest naval housing estate) and Sutton Estate in Chelsea (where heritage was key to developing the regeneration proposals). Community engagement is a critical part of Clarion’s approach, so we helped residents to be fully involved in the designs and plans for each of these ambitious developments.
We began our journey with Clarion in the London Borough of Merton. The first four years of our appointment as communications advisors focused on building local understanding of the need for regeneration and winning support for it to go ahead. This involved producing large amounts of detailed print and digital material to demonstrate Clarion’s plans for three neighbourhoods, plus public exhibitions and briefings for local councillors and other stakeholders.
We dug deep into the character of each area – beginning with walking tours, then reaching out to engage with local residents and groups. The all-important Residents Offer Document, which we co-produced with Clarion and the local community, was recognised as best practice.
Through intensive communication and explanation of the regeneration and its benefits, planning permission for all three Merton neighbourhoods was secured in 2018. The project brings £1.3 billion investment into the area. It provides 2,550 new homes plus improved community spaces and public realm, and more than 700 jobs and apprenticeships.