TOPO Tower redesign – what lessons for community involvement?

Results are encouraging but it is still early days

Tony Lancaster explored the process of community engagement with the recent Old Post Office Tower and its developers.

What happens when an unhappy group of residents clashes with a developer? When St George mis-judged local response with their plans for the Old Post Office site they were met with unprecedented levels of protest. St George offered to work with residents to improve the tallest element of the site.

What happened next has some important lessons for community involvement. This was never about just the architecture but instead goes to the heart of the planning process and the style and purpose of consultation. It’s up to us to make the most of this opportunity to impact what happens next for the town centre.