On Tuesday 27th October 2015, the Princes Foundation for the Building Community (PFBC) launched the BIMBY Online Toolkit at Buckingham Palace, with HRH The Prince of Wales in attendance amongst nearly 150 other esteemed guests linked to the planning and development sector – our very own Nick Woolley was lucky enough to be one of them.
BIMBY or Beauty in my Backyard is a community initiative that has been started following the PFBC’s report ‘Housing Communities – What People Want’ published in 2014, showed how meaningful consultation and better informed residential development can actually result in more popular housing. Essentially, BIMBY developments are needed to overcome NIMBY (Not in my Backyard) attitudes allowing us to improve our built environments and meet the country’s increasingly urgent housing demands.
The BIMBY Housing Toolkit has been created so that communities can influence the new buildings in their own areas. It is an online system, aiding you to run three community workshops and giving guidance on how to get your community’s ‘BIMBY Manual’ adopted into your Local or Neighbourhood Plan or the like. The workshops are as follows:
This online toolkit has been designed to be easy to use by all members of the community – you do not have to be in urban planning or an architect. I have had a look on the website myself, and can confirm that it is simple enough that even I can use it!
A number of prominent speakers praised the online initiative, including Peter Schofield (Director General of the Department for Communities Local Government), Sue Sayer (Chairman of the Campaign for the Protection of the Rural Environment), Ross Murray (Deputy President of the Country Land & Business Association).
I really recommend that you take a look at the BIMBY website (www.bimby.org.uk) and have a play around, especially if you think that that your community could benefit from coming together to create a BIMBY Manual.
Community consultation is something that Woolley have really believed in for many years. We actually have our own consultation software – Concerto – which we have used on a number of occasions to ensure that developments for our clients are taken forward with support from the community – this usually then results in an increase in community demand for new dwellings!
Our software involves bringing together all stakeholders and then members of the community, to get a real picture of what is truly important in the area. Using the software to calculate the average opinions of all stakeholders, an all-encompassing masterplan can be created.
If you are looking to take forward a development project on your land, and you perhaps have concerns that your developer does not have the best interests of your local community at heart, please do get in touch and we shall be delighted to see if Concerto can help. Otherwise, for more information on Concerto, please follow this link:https://www.woolley.co.uk/services/community-consultation/