Arding & Hobbs is an iconic building that has been central to Battersea’s heritage since it was built in 1884, south London’s first department store. We knew plans for the building would be scruntised by thousands, but with Covid 19, the challenges facing the high street and the collapse of building occupiers, Debenhams, it was imperative for the plans to contribute to the local economy as quickly as possible.

Our client, W.RE, is a London commercial property specialist, renowned for identifying challenging opportunities, creating value for investors, occupiers and the wider community.

The first public consultation took place at the height of the first lockdown in spring 2020. By combining digital and traditional methods we set out the aspirations for the building and town centre – one of the largest responses to pre-application consultation ever received. This informed a second stage, in summer 2020. 

  • 10,600 people viewed social media ads
  • 1,400 engagements via Twitter (144 followers)
  • 1,100 surveys completed
  • 840 subscribers to e-newsletter
  • 10 online meetings with stakeholders and neighbours
  • 75m hoarding celebrating the building’s history, asking for public comment and sharing the work of local artists

Despite significant challenges faced as lockdown began, we ran two rounds of consultation, using traditional engagement and innovative digital techniques. While digital engagement broadened reach, we obtained fantastic responses using traditional methods. The grassroots activity engendered a community aspiration to retain the building’s landmark role in the high street. 

Our campaign resulted in significant backing for the project, with councillors unanimously approving the project at Wandsworth’s Planning Applications Committee meeting in November 2020.

Community Stream is Cascade’s community engagement service. Whether face-to-face or digital, we deliver meaningful and inclusive consultation solutions that engage with your stakeholders, overcome traditional challenges, and provide a personalised experience throughout the process. Find out more


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