Natalie Vincent repor'>
by Natalie Vincent Fri 16 February 2018, 5:24 pm
Enfield Council has embarked on a new initiative called "Enabling Enfield to find out how it could improve stakeholders' experience with the planning process and decision-making for development and regeneration. Natalie Vincent reports
In summer 2017, Enfield Council sought detailed feedback from developers and partners on how efficiently the local authority processes planning applications, promotes available development opportunities and advises on improving business relationships.
The council is working with place branding consultant Tim Lewis and Opportunity Enfield publisher 3Fox International on the project.
Lewis says: "More than any borough, Enfield believes in working with the private sector to create the right environment for success. Enabling Enfield is a way of thinking and acting that embodies this attitude. 3Fox became involved with the project as a natural extension to its publishing and promotional work with the borough. It had become apparent that a clear positioning concept and a concise business pitch would add value to these existing work streams."
On a rainy 17 July 2017 at the Opportunity Enfield magazine launch at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel, the usual networking sessions were combined with workshop groups, at which delegates were able to contribute suggestions and ideas about how the planning process could be improved.
Four 'stations' were set up at the venue, with stakeholders given five minutes at each to write answers to questions on post-it notes about their expectations of the council, the challenges facing businesses and opportunities for the council to seize on.
In addition, they were asked to contribute their previous experiences in promoting business in Enfield; the barriers faced by firms wanting to invest and develop in the borough, and how they perceive the 'personality' of the council.
The feedback immediately spawned a new business enquiry form on investinenfield.co.uk, inviting businesses to tell the council how much space is required, and for what purpose.
The council now plans to implement this feedback to work into the Local Plan, with developers better informed on what local schemes to bring forward.
The council's approach to decision making was further examined at a workshop held in November 2017, with 11 senior council stakeholders representing commercial and mixed-use development, property agency, business advisory, local business and public relations, discussing Enfield’s strengths and weaknesses in the planning process.
Decision makers at the council were not present for the meeting, in order to preserve the anonymous findings.
A longer version of this article appears in issue 9 of Opportunity Enfield magazine
Click here to get a copy