Understanding local aspirations for the West-12 Site in Shepherds Bush
By Fred Gulliford | Tue, Jul 7, 2020
2 min read
Landsec used Commonplace for a planning consultation to better understand community needs for the redevelopment of the West12 site in Shepherds Bush.
They wanted to gather what people liked and disliked about the centre its present form so that they could retain the unique local essence of what is good about West 12 in the their redevelopment plans.
The West12 site in Shepherds Bush is an iconic mixed use site – shops, entertainment and two tower blocks of social housing - built in the 1970s. With more up to date, international competition from the regional Westfield Shopping Centre less than a mile away, the site is in need of development to deliver a modern equivalent, both to fulfil its original purpose and meet the current and future needs of people who visit, work, and live in the site.
It is apparent the site requires significant investment. The fact that it houses two tower blocks of social housing, together with some popular retail outlets, makes it clear that, wholesale redevelopment without adequate public engagement would be problematic, and could generate considerable opposition.
“This was our first attempt to improve planning consultation by taking it online into a digital space. Commonplace guided us through the journey patiently and expertly with a wealth of relevant project experience to help inform our choices. We’ve been delighted by the response we’ve received from the public to the extent that we’ve had to close this phase of the consultation early. We are very much looking forward to the next phase of questions.”
Nick Corbyn - Development Director - Landsec
Inviting the community to participate
Commonplace designed and executed a social media campaign targeted at young people living in the area and using the shopping centre. The campaign was run on Facebook and Instagram, and directed over 5,000 people to the Commonplace site, of which over 1,000 responded.
The objective was to allow the public who use West12 sufficient time and opportunity to say what they liked and disliked about the current site, and more critically, what they would like to see improved.
Landsec determined that this approach would be an opportunity to engage with the public and local groups constructively, gather evidence-based data to inform the design principles, and ultimately, a plan for major improvements to the site.
The West 12 site phase 1 consultation proved very successful with over 5,000 visitors delivering over 1,000 comments with great suggestions for improving the facilities and appearance of West12. With any change comes some opposition, but the structure of engagement facilitated a balanced discussion of the merits, demerits and opportunities for the site, giving people a genuine chance to influence its future.
Analysis of the responses showed that while negative concern about the West12 site centred around its dated appearance, lack of variety and quality of shopping, and leisure and community facilities, people valued the fact that it catered for local needs.
A wide range of ideas were suggested for improving what it provides in public spaces, environment and community facilities, as well as the shopping and leisure experience. More suitable and flexible workspace for job creation, and the need to provide a mix of housing opportunities to sustain the population, were also key suggestions.
To keep the conversation going with the community, they published their findings online. Click on the thumbnail below to go to the project site.
On the back of the consultation, Landsec held their first public exhibition on the emerging principles for the redevelopment of the West 12 centre. These headline principles were informed by the successful online consultation held on Commonplace. You can view the exhibition materials and a detailed breakdown of the here.
Learn more about the West12 Commonplace