Sites should make a huge effort to interact and build good relationships with the local community.
This can help to alleviate any potential conflicts that may arise, as well as provide opportunities to support one another for the duration of the project.
Examples of how sites have made efforts to engage with the local community include:
- A walkway bridge was retained across from the site, to avoid a long walk around for workers and passers-by;
- Managers spent time as ‘book buddies’ with the nearby Primary School;
- Tenants were provided with free Wi-Fi access at weekends;
- A free Christmas hamper prize draw was held among the tenants to acknowledge all the cooperation received over the duration of the works;
- Established an estate community policing scheme, providing elderly and vulnerable residents with a buddy they could call to deal with uninvited callers;
- Introduced a ‘Street Champion’, drawn from the local community, to represent residents’ interests at regular meetings with the site team;
- Fitted car covers to neighbours’ vehicles parked close to site, to protect them during dusty activities;
- Provided communal dog bowls near the site, as the project was located near a popular park;
- Site manager had his Black Labrador risk-assessed and began regular visits to a local elderly care home so the residents could meet the dog;
- Held an energy saving workshop for residents, providing free TV power down switches and energy saving lightbulbs.
VINCI Construction UK Ltd; Keepmoat; Willmott Dixon Housing Ltd; Koru Property Services Ltd; Uplift Property (Monitor Reports, 2014 & 2015).