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Community participation provides ways in which people can come together and provide their opinion creating some local ownership and control. People can participate in debates and discussions at various levels catering to the need for a range of wider (formal and informal) ways of people participation. Adem, highlights on Prue Chiles lecture about the importance of people’s view and the challenges faced for building a sustainable community for the future.

Community Participation holds different meanings for different people. The various teams of people during participation feel that they should “own” community engagement for their organization, and moreover, that their particular objectives should define what community engagement means for the organization (Butteriss,2016).

The Community Engagement Triangle

The land-use planning team often tends to put community engagement under the process oriented statutory terms; it is a legislated part of the decision-making process that they are required to go through in order to get a plan gazette. The main goal is often to get the plan gazetted and not have an outcome of the community engagement. In these cases community involvement just becomes a necessity rather than an active participation of local residents for improving democratic and service accountability (Butteriss,2016).

The community development team focuses on the community engagement as a process of public involvement providing residents with the opportunity to develop the skills and networks that are needed to address social exclusion and also ensuring that the designing met the specific requirements and needs of the users (Burns D, Heywood F, Taylor M, Wilde P and Wilson M, 2004). Whereas, extension, or education helps in expanding the “capacity” of an individual and eventually the broader community to do something new or better (Butteriss,2016).

Case study –

Denbighshire’s Community Involvement Scheme

Denbighshire CIS meeting

Denbighshire, with the population of 98,000 has in the past struggled to involve the public adequately in long-term spatial planning. Despite a positive review of an active citizenship and a good track record, elected members and officers alike faced a taxing task to convince local organisations and individuals to participate meaningfully in the development plan process. Denbighshire’s Community Involvement Scheme had a planned participation phase as an initial step in the preparation of a local development plan (LDP).

Denbighshire CIS meeting

A team was set in place and an external review of their capabilities was carried out, identifying the need to plan the participation phase. Several preparatory steps were undertaken while working with the Consultation Institute to prepare the ground properly for significantly enhanced public involvement.

Some of them included:

  • A review of existing lists of stakeholder groups and interested parties.
  • Selection of organisations for a full stakeholder mapping.
  • Formation of a key stakeholder group.
  • Identification of initial key strategic issues and challenges that needed addressing.

Thus effective community participitation was ensured and enhanced social cohesion was seen. This case study supports RTPI GPN1: Guidelines on Effective Community Involvement and Consultation (Denbighshire County Council).



  1. Butteriss, Dr.Crispin, “What Is Community Engagement, Exactly?”. (2016), Web. 21 Jan. 2017.
  2. Burns D, Heywood F, Taylor M, Wilde P and Wilson M, 2004, “Making Community Participation Meaningful A Handbook For Development And Assessment”. (2004): n. pag. Web. 22 Jan. 2017.
  3. Case study – 1st ed. Denbighshire County Council, (RTPI) Web. 22 Jan. 2017.

Image reference –

  1. The community engagement triangle – Butteriss, Dr.Crispin, “What Is Community Engagement, Exactly?”. (2016), Web. 21 Jan. 2017.
  2. Case study – 1st ed. Denbighshire County Council, (RTPI) Web. 22 Jan. 2017.




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Planning and Landscape
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