JTP is proud to celebrate the news that The Nicholson Quarter in Maidenhead for Areli Real Estates has been acknowledged as a Winner at the Planning Awards 2022, being successful in the Stakeholder Engagement in Planning category.
Designed for the people of Maidenhead, by the people of Maidenhead, our considered engagement process commenced prior to COVID-19 and continued virtually during the pandemic to provide stakeholders, residents and the community with an opportunity to shape the vision together.
JTP led the largest community engagement processes the Royal Borough of Maidenhead and Windsor has ever seen, with several hundred people, including many schools and colleges taking part to shape the vision for the redevelopment of the Nicholson Shopping Centre.
Engagement events and initiatives included:
- A Community Planning Weekends (CPW) attended by over 500 people.
- Informal discussions and workshops with the local community, including hard-to-reach groups (Girls’ Policy Forum, students, RBWM Youth Ambassadors, Disability and Inclusion Forum).
- A dedicated mobile phone app and website hosting the vision and contact form.
- Hands-on planning design groups.
- Report Back events and broadsheets to present and discuss the outcomes of the Community Planning Weekend.
- Community Stakeholder Update Exhibitions attended by 1,000 people.
- Channels established on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with targeted social media ads.
- Dedicated phoneline and email address set up to receive queries.
Active involvement with the community throughout the design development which extended beyond the planning submission was crucial – ensuring the community could co-design the vision; proposals could be presented; issues could be discussed clearly; and feedback could be continually employed to evolve the masterplan in an iterative way. These groups ranged from residents, community groups, local schools, businesses, online communities, politicians and local media. Through our extensive community engagement, we reached over 27,000 households, resulting in 82% support being expressed for the plans.
As part of JTP’s engagement and planning process we also collaborated with a local, visually impaired teenager, who explained the need for comprehensive, inclusive design. For us to understand her insights, a senior member of the JTP team undertook a walkabout of the centre with a blindfold to create various degrees of visual impairment. We also attended the Disability and Inclusion Forum to discuss how accessibility for residents and visitors with mobility issues could be fully incorporated into the proposals. These experiences provided important feedback and offered us the time to consider how our designs moving forward should be accessible for absolutely everyone in the community. The judges admired this “innovative approach to engagement” and “genuine attempts to understand the needs of all in the community”.
We are delighted to have won this Planning Award 2022 and we thank the Maidenhead community for their local knowledge and creativity through the process and their support for the proposals that have emerged to transform the town centre.
Charles Campion, Partner at JTP
Through this comprehensive engagement process, the regeneration will transform the outdated 1960s single-use shopping centre into a vibrant, mixed-use quarter and is one of the first ‘shopping centre to town centre’ regeneration initiatives in the UK, providing a blueprint to help address the changing landscape of high streets in our towns and cities.
The subsequent planning application has since been unanimously approved by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the site assembly is currently being concluded with the aim to begin the regeneration in 2023. We are delighted that this collaborative process and project has been recognised by the judges at the Planning Awards 2022!