Clarion Housing Group is one of the UK’s largest housing associations and is responsible for more than 125,000 homes across London and the south east.
Following a major stock transfer from the London Borough of Merton, Clarion drew up plans for an ambitious estate regeneration that would see three existing neighbourhoods of 1,300 dwellings transformed to provide 2,200 new homes. To deliver its vision, Clarion needed to consult and secure support from the majority of residents and win the backing of Merton’s politicians.
Camargue’s principal role was to help secure a measurable majority of support for the regeneration that would give Clarion the confidence to progress with planning applications.
We devised a strategy and delivery plan focused on explaining the benefits of the regeneration to politicians, the community and media. The project required a variety of communications skills – from issues management, media relations, political briefings and at times training and coaching – all geared ultimately towards building durable relationships.
We helped develop trust across the political spectrum and at all tiers of government, while supporting in-depth resident consultation and remaining constantly alive to the sensitivities of regeneration.
We devised and developed the project’s 10 commitments to the community – a pledge from Clarion and Merton Council to residents in the three neighbourhoods – an initiative that was highlighted by the London Assembly as a good example of ‘taking the people with you’ to deliver a successful estate regeneration outcome.
As a result, when polled in an independent market research exercise, the majority of residents supported the regeneration plans and the project team was able to progress with planning applications (now approved).