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LLDC coordinating public consultation during lockdown

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is the regeneration agency responsible for the long term planning, development, maintenance and management for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. To give local people the chance to voice their views and opinions on new neighbourhoods in the area, LLDC launched a Commonplace engagement together with VU.CITY in September 2020.


At the very core of the LLDC lies the commitment to involve local communities in the decisions that shape the future of their neighbourhood. This means meaningfully engaging people in projects form the start, right the way through to completion. 

In September 2020, they were keen to share plans for the new neighbourhood in the area. The Pudding Mill and Bridgewater sites will together deliver 1,500 new homes and workspace for 2,000 people. For such an ambitious project, it was important to get feedback from local people on the proposals and hear their suggestions for improvements. (Click and drag to view before & after)


The Pudding Mill & Bridgewater site - Photo Credits: Before LLDC After LLDC

The LLDC has always supported a blended approach to community engagement, combining both online and offline methods. However, with social distancing restrictions in place, face to face events were simply not possible. This meant that they had to rely more heavily on their digital engagement, and ensure it provided all the information necessary for the public to have informed views.

“Previously we’d have a digital engagement alongside the physical exhibition. Whereas in 2020, we had to reconsider this. How can we use online to its fullest potential in terms of what information do we portray, what’s the text and the copy that goes with it.” 

Victoria Thorns - Community and Sustainability Manager - LLDC

LLDC therefore set up an online consultation page through the Commonplace platform where the local community could interact with the designs and leave their comments. To help bring the proposal to life, we worked in collaboration with VU.CITY, to provide a 3D visualisation of the site to give local people a clear idea of what the new sites would look like in relation to the area.

Take a look at the consultation here:

Pudding Mill Consultation


Sharing Plans with the Community

Following their first round of consultations back in Autumn 2019 before the pandemic, the design teams developed proposals for both the Pudding Mill and Bridgewater sites. As part of the second consultation phase, LLDC invited the local community to give feedback on the draft masterplan to help inform the proposals in advance of an outline planning application being submitted in Spring 2021.

On the Commonplace engagement site local people could view the different proposals, comment on specific areas and upvote the ideas of others. By allowing users to interact in this way, it encouraged conversation and the prioritisation of ideas.

“Commonplace allows us to be even more open with what we’ve heard. It’s there in the public domain as a record, therefore it puts more emphasis on us as a developer to get back to the respondents, heavier responsibility. “

Victoria Thorns - Community and Sustainability Manager - LLDC

As part of the Design Feedback tool, LLDC worked with Commonplace to incorporate VU.CITY visualisations of each site. Locals could view the development in 360 and understand what it would like from different focal points in the surrounding area. This immersive experience meant that users visualise and analyse the developments in a completely new way than ever before. 

You can take a look at the proposed new developments by interacting with the VU.CITY visualisation below.

Photo Credits: VU.CITY


VU.CITY has brought the reality of this project into the hands of the public. We all get excited by 3D, why? Because this is closest to the human experience of space. Aesthetics are crucial, but the scale and mass of development, in relation to the local context, are just as important. VU.CITY, in combination with our feedback tools makes imagination accessible for all.

Facilitating collaboration in the planning process is at the heart of what we believe in. We're so pleased to be able to help Commonplace and LLDC in delivering longevity for the local neighbourhood, whilst empowering the community.

Jason Hawthorne - Chief Digital Officer - VU.CITY

The overall engagement empowered the community to help shape the places they live. In addition to the Commonplace site, the programme also included a couple of online  webinars. The team hosted two online consultation events to give people an opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback. The recordings were then shared via the Commonplace project site to help engage those who were unable to attend.


The results

The feedback via Commonplace will be used to support different stages of the design and planning process. The current outline planning application can make use of the more ‘general’ contributions. More ‘detailed’ contributions can be saved and used for the next design phase.

Pudding Mill provides a fantastic example of what happens when you approach digital engagement methods with a fresh and creative mindset. We’ve loved working with Victoria and her team on these projects. Their commitment to discovering the best ways to create transparent communication delivers places truly shaped by the local community.


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