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Early public buy-in vital to regeneration projects

EARLY PUBLIC involvement is vital for rehabilitation and renovation developments, UK regeneration agency English Partnerships said this week.

Russell Dixon, head of policy at English Partnerships, said this means moving well beyond 'consultation'.

'It is a question of engagement, of education almost, to explain what your vision is - but also what the realistic constraints are, ' Dixon told NCE's conference Successful Regeneration Projects on Tuesday.

He cited development of the Greenwich Millennium Village as an example of getting the public on board. A school and a medical centre were early parts of the scheme which, when publicised, transformed the desirability of follow-on housing.

Environment Agency land contamination policy manager Sheena Engineer added that getting public 'buy-in' to reduce fears about poisons and other difficulties associated with brownfield development was critical, alongside dealing with the multitude of agencies, regulatory bodies and commercial interests that affect scheme schedules.

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