When local authorities plan for new ways of services and designs of our places, they require a tool that can help gain the local residents’ perception of their areas. Place Standard provides you with the opportunity of getting to know your places better, from the physical to social environments.
Following a simple framework, the Place Standard can help promote discussions of a place as it incorporates varying themes tied to a place.
How is the tool relevant?
- Establishes place-based approach amongst Local Authority services, Community Planning Partnership, Health & Social Care Partnership
- Gathers qualitative baseline data alongside demographic data/SIMD
- Origins of planning briefs
- Inputs to Strategic Environmental Assessment
- Inputs to Action Planning
- Empowers community
- Engages local politicians
- Engages seldom heard groups
- Provides test feedback on prospective housing sites
How can the tool help resolve current issues for place-based work?
- Strategic development frameworks
- Local development plans
- Local development frameworks
- Main issue report monitoring statements
Real life examples of the Place Standard tool in action
We've collected a series of case studies that showcase how local authorities use the Place Standard for development planning at a strategic scale. These case studies are a recollection of stories from the local authorities’ point-of-view of using the Place Standard tool.
Click on the links to scroll to the selected case study.
- Shetland Islands local development plan and locality plan consultation
- West Dunbartonshire main issues and local plan consultation
- South Lanarkshire main issues consultation
- Argyll and Bute local development plan and locality plan consultation
- Dundee City Council local development plan and main issues consultation
- North Ayrshire local development plan
Shetland islands local development plan and locality plan consultation
Shetland Islands Council’s community planning partners came together to use the Place Standard tool to inform their local development and locality plan.
Iain McDiarmaid, Executive manager of Planning reflects on the application of the Place Standard.
Image credit: Shetland Islands Council
Joint work between services who traditionally consult separately saved the council time and money and reduced ‘consultation fatigue’ for the public.
We used the Place Standard tool to facilitate:
- corporate dialogue
- community empowerment
- Place-based actions
The Shetland Place Standard consultation took place between 14th June - 10th July 2016. Primarily it was an online exercise. The tool was applied across all island localities. There was also some use of paper version at local venues.
The Place Standard tool was used alongside the National Standards for Community Engagement.
The survey results were analysed and presented in a final report, some of which can be seen on the next page.
Results were shared via reports to councillors, further focus meetings with community groups, published online and via press release.
Outputs provided an evidence base for main issues reporting, making places initiative and masterplanning engagement.
It influenced policy and strategy including:
- Local Outcomes Improvement Plan
- Local Development Plan
- Shetland Local Housing Strategy
- Shetland Transport Strategy
- Shetland Islands Health and Social Care Partnership: Joint Strategic Commissioning Plan
West Dunbartonshire main issues and local plan consultation
West Dunbartonshire aimed to embed their wider alignment approach across the council and community planning partners. Using the Place Standard tool, the council were able to engage with a wide range of ages for their main issues report and local development plans.
Antony McGuinness, Team Leader, forward planning reflects on using the Place Standard.
Image credit: West Dunbartonshire Council
The council has moved to basing everything we do around place.
The Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP), Plan for Place, sets the direction for how we will take forward what we do around place. The ambition is to improve lives and align budgets around a place-based approach to achieve more.
The Your Place, Your Plan brand encapsulates all our plans about place.
As part of the lead practice work with the Scottish Government, we are integrating community planning and spatial planning and building capacity within our communities to plan for their own area.
We chose Place Standard as an easy-to-use tool and conversation starter. This is to help undertake a discussion around place and to collate information on what our communities thought about their place.
We built up our strategic approach in several stages.
Stage 1 - training
The Improvement Service provided Place Standard Facilitator training for our:
- Forward Planning Team
- Performance and Strategy Team
- Communities Team
- Other services within the Council and Community Planning Partners
Stage 2 - events
In the next stage we carried out several consultation events, undertaken during a 12-week consultation period.
The events helped to engage our communities in the Local Outcome Improvement Plan, Local Development Plan 2 and Locality Plans.
Events were jointly managed by our Forward Planning, Performance and Strategy, Communities and Regeneration teams and our community planning partners. At each of the seven events there were a variety of ways for people to fill out the tool. Some school children ran through it in ten minutes.
Completing the Place Standard exercise
The options to complete the Place Standard exercise during the event ranged from:
Simple sheets for people to complete using the Place Standard diagram, asking for three top priorities
Place Standard questions that think about points pinned on the wall for people to complete themselves if they had slightly longer
Full facilitated sessions with groups which were usually undertaken in one hour
Postcode data was also recorded to allow for place-based analysis of responses.
Outputs were converted into a database which was jointly used for the Local Outcome Improvement Plan, Local Development Plan 2 and Locality Plans.
The work has been endorsed by the Local Authority Chief Executive, Strategic Director and Council Leader and Community planning partners. The Community Planning West Dunbartonshire Management board oversee the integration of community and spatial planning.
Informing services, plans and strategies
The intention is to distribute the findings of the consultation events to the various departments within the council. We intend to use the information to inform the delivery of services and the wider formulation of plans and strategies.
It’s informing the Local Outcome Improvement Plan and Locality Plans, as well as LDP 2. We’re intending that Locality Plans will become part of the proposed plan as supplementary guidance.
These may be combined with local place plans to keep a place focus and to help link to resources supporting communities to implement place plans.
Clydebank Waterfront locality plan
This process is already starting with work on a Clydebank Waterfront locality plan, supported by Scottish Government. It will be informed by a pilot project we are undertaking which is part funded by the Scottish Government under their Making Places initiative.
This will include specific actions to improve wellbeing, tackle inequality and disadvantage, focused on a small geographic area around the Forth and Clyde Canal and Clydebank town centre.
Further targeted consultation is planned with community councils and other community groups. Participatory Budgeting work is also intended using the place focus to target resources.
South Lanarkshire main issues consultation
South Lanarkshire required a tool that could help highlight locals' perceptions of their communities in South Lanarkshire.
Gordon Cameron, Planning and Building Standard Services, reflect on using the Place Standard.
Image credit: South Lanarkshire Council
Our work with the Place Standard helped with policy formulation and identification of issues across different areas.
This was suggested by Scottish Government and identified as a potentially useful tool.
The tool was used alongside National Standards for Community Engagement.
Structured discussions were managed with people at stalls in public locations, opinion meters and an online questionnaire.
The tool was used online and with the paper version at meetings. The main focus was work with Community Councils and residents. The tool was applied to town centres, villages and neighbourhoods.
An output report was produced to underpin the Main Issues Report and went on to influence spatial policy.
Argyll and Bute local development plan and locality plan consultation
Argyll and Bute Council brought together a wide range of participants for the Place Standard exercise. Used to survey ‘how the community felt about its place’, the survey helped the council to facilitate conversations about place.
In this case study we compare two perspectives on the use of the Place Standard: Community Planning Officer, Samantha Somers, and Spatial Planning Officer, Sybil Johnson.
Image credit: Argyll and Bute Council
Community Planning Officer’s view
The tool was used to survey ‘how a community felt about its place’. The process was intended to facilitate place-based actions as required in national policy.
The Place Standard tool was a cross-service engagement tool that provided evidence to inform locality planning. We built our own version of the tool on the council website for us to collate all the responses centrally.
The assessments were mainly completed by individuals. However, we were able to piggy-back onto CPR training, delivered by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service where there were larger groups present.
Identifying areas for action
The Community Planning Outcome Profile tool from Improvement Service was used in conjunction with the Place Standard tool when analysing the results and identifying priority areas for action.
Data was collated and averaged to create compass diagrams, presented in a report. There was a compass diagram produced for each postcode area, island and administrative area. Scores of three or less were focused on as weaknesses requiring action.
We went back to local Area Community Planning groups to establish actions at a local level and then verified these with the CPP management committee. One-year community action plans have been produced for each area and are public documents which are available freely. The findings from the tool were used to focus actions on community planning locality plans.
Verifying improvement implementations
Higher scores were common for Natural Space and Feeling Safe with lower scores for Public Transport, Moving Around and Work/Local Economy. We intend to use the tool again every two or three years, linked to locality plan timescales to test the effect of implementing improvements.
Serving a wide range of agencies and services
The data gathered is being widely used by partner agencies including:
- Police Scotland
- Highlands and Islands Enterprise
- Scottish Fire and Rescue
- Community Groups
- Community Councils
- Private Sector
- Health and Social Care Partnerships
- NHS Highland
- Third sector
- Social enterprise
Within Argyll and Bute Council it’s being used by a range of services:
- Children and Families
- Roads and Transport
- Economic Development
Spatial Planning Officer’s view
The tool was used to facilitate engagement, corporate dialogue, community empowerment, decision-making and Place-Based actions. In particular:
- Used to start the conversation on the Local Development Plan process
- Opportunity for joint working and aligning agendas within the council
- Recommended by the Scottish Government in the SPP
- Simple tool that is easily applied
Our web team adapted the Place Standard tool, running it online and collating the results.
We ran an equalities assessment form alongside the tool. People could comment on a town, village or location. We also used Geographical Information System (GIS) to aggregate the results to different geographies for different purposes.
Local development plan pre-engagement activities
In terms of the LDP pre-engagement we had:
- stakeholder meetings
- community council events
- councillor workshops
- assessment of monitoring data
- Call for Sites - information from developers
- Call for Ideas - more in-depth information asked for by survey that built on the PST from community stakeholders and the public
Data was presented in spreadsheets and analysed via pie charts. The output report was shared on the council portal.
One example from the Monitoring Statement: ‘Participants in Rothesay had the lowest score in respect of work and the local economy whereas Helensburgh and Oban participants scored this higher.’
The Main Issues Report then proposed the retainment of Rothesay as a regeneration area, and Helensburgh and the wider Oban, designated as growth areas due to its potential. This was based on a range of evidence including the Place Standard tool results.
The next stage of use is anticipated in five years in run-up to next LDP.