- Executive Summary
- Planning For Real
- Internet Based Planning For Real
- Using The World Wide Web For Public Participation
- Public Response
- User Communities
- Relevant Web Pages
- Contact Information
This report examines the potential of using the World Wide Web
interface as a tool for increasing public participation in environmental decision making.
The use of on-line geographical information systems to allow public interaction with
geographical features as an alternative to a traditional 'Planning For Real'®
exercise was the main aim of the project. The desire to achieve an understanding of how
the general public would respond to using a web based participatory tool is also
1.1 In June 1998 the West Yorkshire Village of Slaithwaite carried out
a 'Planning For Real'®(PFR) exercise to identify the views and opinions
of local residents regarding the environment in which they lived and how they would like
their village to develop in the future. The whole process was organised by Colne Valley
Trust (CVT), an independent community based rural agency, which promotes and facilitates
the economic, social and environmental regeneration of the valley.
1.2 Consultations with Kirklees Metropolitan Council's (KMC)
Environment Unit helped identify the PFR exercise as an ideal opportunity to compare
traditional methods of public participation in environmental decision making with new
techniques being developed in the research project at the University. As part of a wider
Government funded project under the name Virtual Society? the research carried out
in this case study has aimed to conduct on-line experiments using prototype web based
decision making systems. Analysis of user responses and the evaluation of the potential of
these systems in democratising the decision making process is discussed. This will help to
assist in the development of new theory in participatory environmental decision making.
1.3 The systems under development are essentially World Wide Web (WWW)
fronted Geographical Information Systems (GIS). A GIS is a powerful computer-based tool
designed for the mapping and analysis of geographical data and is widely used by planning
authorities. The complexity of the GIS is hidden from the public user, but retains the
ability to build up several scenarios or proposals based on particular choices made. This
provides the members of the public with a powerful tool allowing them to make better
informed decisions which can be fed back into the planning process. While GIS technology
in the past has often been referred to as elitist due to its complicated user interface
and high start-up costs this type of system breaks down certain barriers to access
allowing the general public the use of such technology over the WWW.
Note: The Neighbourhood
Initiatives Foundation (NIF) is a National Charity, founded in 1988, with the main aim of
maximising the participation of local people in decisions that affect their neighbourhoods
and their quality of life. The founding director, Dr Tony Gibson, devised "Planning
For Real" in the 1970s as a technique that is employed by the NIF fieldwork team. NIF
has continued to develop and adapt this primary tool to meet both local and strategic
consultation needs and as an essential process in community development programmes. NIF
fieldworkers usually facilitate the process using large 3D scale models of the local area.
2. Planning For Real
2.1 PFR is an idea developed and patented by the Neighbourhood
Initiatives Foundation (NIF), a charitable trust based in Telford, as a means of involving
local people more closely in local environmental planning problems and decision making.
This is achieved through active participation and interaction with large scale physical
models of the area which, more often than not, involve using the local community to
construct the models. In this particular case local school children helped construct the
model after the initial sculpting of the local landscape.
2.2 The Slaithwaite PFR exercise was co-ordinated for CVT by NIF and
part funded by KMC. A 1:1,000 scale three dimensional model of a 2km2 area of
the Slaithwaite village and valley was constructed by CVT and NIF with the help of local
school children (see Figure 1). This was used as a focus for local discussion about
planning issues within Slaithwaite. Local people were invited to register their views
about particular issues by placing flags with written comments on to appropriate locations
on the model. The results of this exercise were then collated by NIF with the potential to
feed them back into the planning process via the Local Authority.
Figure 1: Part of the Slaithwaite PFR Model
2.3 One of the main aims of CVT is to consult with local people to find
out their views, and involve them in local decision making and actions. The main features
of the method are:
- the provision of a large scale model of the chosen area on which the public can place
ideas and comments about their community now and in the future;
- a completely open ended approach - anything can be said or suggested;
- it is ideally led from within the community;
- it is open to all members of the community at a time when most can participate; and
- it provides information which can be of use to both the local community and the wider
local authority in terms of future planning and knowledge of local opinion.
2.4 With particular reference to Slaithwaite, which has problems and
concerns in common with other villages in the area, it was decided that the village would
be the first in the Colne Valley to have the opportunity to undertake the PFR exercise.
Additional problems being faced ranged from the disruption the canal restoration would
make coupled with more serious traffic problems. There were also many issues surrounding
public buildings and many of the old buildings which are in disrepair. With a diverse set
of issues and views potentially being expressed by residents in the village the potential
for conflict would appear to be inevitable. One of the advantages of the PFR method is
that compromise and consensus become easier as all participants efforts become focused on
the physical model. This allows practical non-threatening modes of interaction by being
anonymous. The placement of a flag on the model expressing a view point has no attachment
to an individual, unlike in a public meeting where people can attach a face to a point of
3. Internet Based Planning For Real
3.1 The PFR initiative provided the research project with an ideal
opportunity to test out new methods of public participation by running a parallel exercise
over the World Wide Web. Using the same 2km2 area of land around Slaithwaite
the project developed a virtual model of the village which allowed the local community to
interact with a virtual digital map giving them relatively instant access to queries which
they pose and the ensuing results. In essence this was essentially an on-line GIS. There
are many definitions of GIS, but a generally accepted definition is that of an advanced
computer tool box for the input, storage, editing, manipulation, update, integration,
analysis, visualisation and output of spatial data.
3.2 Recent developments have seen a massive increase in the number of
practical computer applications available via the World Wide Web and the Internet. GIS is
now counted among their number with quite a few sites across the world offering
information on GIS, data, software, applications and advice. One or two of these sites are
now offering the Web user with direct access to GIS packages for use with first, second or
third party datasets. This allows the user to actually use a GIS package across the
Internet via a custom interface accessed via a Web browser.
Figure 2: Virtual Slaithwaite
3.3 The Virtual Slaithwaite system is an on-line GIS facility and was
arguably among the first such system available to the public which allowed a two-way flow
of information. The web browser window consists of four frames each containing particular
pieces of information (see Figure 2). Members of the public can view a map of Slaithwaite,
perform zoom and pan operations to assist in visualisation and navigation, ask such
questions as "what is this building?" and "what is this road?" and
then make suggestions about specific features identified from the map. All user input can
be stored in the web access logs which is then used for future analysis and feedback into
the planning process. In this manner a community database is created, representing the
range of views and feeling about planning issues in the village.
3.4 The small window in the top left hand corner of the screen displays
what has been selected and the 'Instructions and Help' window changes to a form
which can be filled in with the comments and suggestions regarding the selected feature.
If a buildings feature is selected a form is provided allowing the input of text relating
to that building. Other features, such as open spaces, the river or canal provide a free
form text box allowing the user to type what ever they wish. This is then 'sent' to the
system for future analysis. When the user has finished they exit the system and are
provided with a series of questions asking them how they felt about using the system. They
are also given the opportunity to make any further comments.
4. Using The World Wide Web For Public Participation
4.1 Traditional methods of public participation at planning meetings
quite often involves a confrontational atmosphere. This can discourage participation by an
often less vocal majority causing public meetings to be dominated by individuals who may
have extreme views which may not necessarily represent the wider view of local people.
Planning meetings often tend to take place in evenings at specific times which can limit
the numbers of people who are able to attend. The restricted time and also the actual
geographical location of public meetings can further restrict the possibility of
widespread attendance. Physical access to such meetings can also cause problems for the
disabled, the elderly and infirm as well as those who maybe deaf.
4.2 There are many advantages to a web based approach at local,
regional and national public participation events. The meetings are neither restricted by
geographical location or time. Access to the information about the issues being discussed
are available from any location with web access. The information is also available at any
time of the day thus avoiding the problems associated with holding meetings only in
evenings. The concept of a "24/7", i.e. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access
opens up opportunities for more people to participate in public consultations. Essentially
with a web based system the public are at the end of a telephone line which enables them
to make comments and express their views in a relatively anonymous and non-confrontational
manner. This compares with the traditional method of standing-up in front of a group of
4.3 A web based system is unique in its ability to provide a 2-way flow
of information from the public to the system and back again. In the Slaithwaite example
the inputting of comments by the public directly into the system saves time and money.
With the physical model comments made by the public have to be collated and put into a
database by, in this instance, CVT which can take several weeks to compile and analyse.
With the web based system this process is continually being updated as the public use the
system and input their comments. The system offers a high degree of flexibility, buildings
can be altered or updated with more relevant information throughout the public
participation process. Several people commented on the 'Virtual Slaithwaite' system that a
road and some buildings had been named incorrectly. This information allowed the system to
be updated immediately by the operators.
4.4 In a traditional PFR setting using a physical model of the village
the public are encouraged to place flags on places where they wish to express views and
opinions. This limits the amount of information that the public can put across as the
flags are relatively small. The web based system allows people to express more articulated
views or comments about issues as opposed to the use of a flag placed on the physical
model. NIF found the web based method useful and believe that there maybe potential to
incorporate a stand alone, i.e. non web based system into their own PFR process. With the
traditional method NIF representatives have to take the written proposals, which have been
placed on the flags, off the model periodically and collate this information in a database
for future analysis. With the computer model the public input their comments directly into
the system thus bypassing the requirement of NIF to do this, saving them time and effort.
4.5 Considering NIFs enthusiasm for a similar system, not necessarily
web based, we are seeking additional funding to further this type of work and develop the
research and development of such systems in similar settings. While a web based system may
not be necessary for a small scale village sized study a similar process for a more
geographically dispersed population could play an increasing role in future public
participation processes. It should also be noted that these systems are seen as ways to
enhance, not replace, current methods.
5. Public Response
5.1 Widespread use of the Internet and the World Wide Web is still some
time away although the speed at which business, government and to a certain extent the
public have adapted to using the technology is arguably faster than any other technology
before it. As computers become more widespread especially in schools and the workplace the
ability of the general public to use and feel comfortable with computers and technology
will increase. Computer software for drawing and manipulating map based software has over
the past decade become much easier to understand and operate. As the famous Chinese
philosopher Confucius once wrote 'a picture is worth a 1,000 words' and can thus
relay a lot of information quickly and understandably to a wide audience.
5.2 The use of a map as the central theme of the web based system
should provide instant familiarity of the location in which the public participation
process is taking place. Several pieces of research in the past have questioned the
publics ability to understand a map which is essentially a 'birds-eye' view of a place.
Many people do not instantly recognise a place when it is presented to them as an areal
view although this did not seem to be a problem with our on-line system. One explanation
for this is the ability of the user to click on a feature on the map and be interactively
informed what that feature is such as a road, restaurant or community building. This
capability in the system helps the user to familiarise themselves with the map.
Figure 3: On-Line Public Comments
5.1 Using a dynamic map, i.e. one which is interactive and provides
endless information about features on it, allows the user to elicit greater detail about
issues and problems in hand. This type of information is impossible to provide on a
traditional paper map and allows a much richer environment for the user to interact with.
A feature which was not included in the Slaithwaite system but would have provided
improved understanding on the public part would have been visual images such as
photographs and even video footage of parts of the village to improve the familiarity of
locations within the village. For example, photographs or artists impressions of the new
canal through the car park could have been provided allowing the public to gain a better
understanding of how the new canal will look in the village centre. The noise from traffic
along particular roads could also be incorporated into any future systems.
5.2 As the Internet and more specifically the WWW develops and becomes
a more widespread and accepted technology its use in public consultation exercises is
likely to increase. The use of animation and 'real-world' images incorporated into such a
system will breed familiarity and overcome some of the problems highlighted earlier in
relation to map cognition. One encouraging aspect gleaned from this case study was the
relative ease with which the people of Slaithwaite seemed to grasp the concept of using
the WWW which appeared to go against some of the work done by others in the past on public
interpretation of maps. One noticeable feature was the way parents and their children used
the system. There were many cases where the children would operate the mouse and use the
keyboard while parents and grandparents would direct them around the map getting them to
click on particular features and tell them what to type in. This helps to account for the
skewness in the user profile which is dominated by under 16 year olds.
5.3 On the whole it appears that the public response to the system was
positive particularly with the ability to type in comments at great length as opposed to
being restricted to a short sentence. Figure 3 above shows the location on the map of
public comments, represented as dots. The darker dot represents a comment made which has
been selected and can be read on the left part of the screen. The ability to provide
feedback and read other peoples' comments could potentially be used for conflict
resolution or on-line debate and discussion about particular issues. Many comments were
made regarding the reduction in the size of the car park as a result of the canal being
re-opened which can be identified on the comments map by the clustering of yellow dots.
6. User Communities
6.1 The potential numbers of people who can benefit from effective
public participation make such processes worthwhile as they can benefit whole communities
and provide the necessary input into difficult problems. Too often in the past the public
have been seen as getting in the way of implementing and driving forward policy. It has
often been the case though that a lack of public consultation has led to future problems
within communities when they are ignored and not asked their view. Exercises such as
Planning for Real® in the traditional sense and also complemented by the type
of system developed for Slaithwaite can provide a community with a voice with which to
express their opinions and ideas about the places where they live and work. Community
groups and organisations such as Colne Valley Trust, other non-Governmental organisations,
pressure groups and the Local Authorities themselves can all benefit from the use of
effective public participation techniques.
6.2 Collaborative public consultation in local decision making and
planning, whether relating to conservation, development or conflict resolution can take
place through web based systems allowing increased public use. Due to the Internets
ability to make information available to anyone with access all the time and also without
any geographical constraints, the 24/7 concept, greater participation by all user
communities is envisaged over the next 5 years or so. In the case of a local authority
planning document, for example the Unitary Development Plan which KMC has produced, future
public inquires and consultations on revisions and updates could be carried out across the
WWW at all stages of the process. This could range from the initial public consultation,
through information gathering from the public and building cases for and against
particular policies and/or developments etc.
6.3 Since the PFR day in June 1998 several local authorities throughout
the UK have increased the amount of information they provide on the web. While none have
the interactive two-way capabilities of the system we have developed yet, many of them are
actively investigating the potential of undertaking similar kinds of web based public
participation processes. As the web continues to increase in popularity the type of system
which has been tested in Slaithwaite is likely to be applied in similar situations in
other parts of the country. This will hopefully allow a more transparent process in local
environmental decision making.
7.1 While the 'Virtual Slaithwaite' system has worked relatively well
further work in several areas is required before this participatory method could be
adopted as a robust technique to complement current public participation processes.
Considering this system was one of the first of its kind allowing a two-way flow of
information and data between the public or 'user' and the 'client' the case study has
provided very positive signs that their is future potential for this type of on-line web
based participatory system. The concept of a two-way interaction between a user and client
opens up many possibilities for participatory techniques. In this sense then while the
user may range from individual members of the public to groups with common concerns the
client side of the system comes in many guises. In the Virtual Slaithwaite case the client
represented CVT as the initiator of the whole PFR process. In other cases the client could
be the local authority who may decide to use the web for particular participatory
processes such as the progression of an authority wide planning document or a local based
initiative. The range of possibilities for carrying out this type of participatory
technique is endless.
7.2 It is clear though that many more case studies and research and
development work is required to investigate the use of more and different types of data.
Case studies relating to different issues and different spatial scales are also required.
Further work involving different sectors of the community is also required to develop more
of an understanding regarding the public acceptance and understanding of web based
participatory techniques. While the Slaithwaite case study appeared to run relatively
smoothly more work needs to be undertaken with a wide range of age groups and sectors of
the population to discover the ability and understanding of IT by these such groups.
7.3 One problem identified relating to the users of the physical model
was the noticeable lack of generating considerable interest in the late teens to late
twenties age groups. Attending public meetings and expressing an opinion is not viewed as
a particularly fashionable way to spend your evenings by this age group. The Internet and
the World Wide Web could help to popularise the concept of public participation through
several channels. Whether access is obtained through the home or through a cyber-café the
anonymity of participation maybe the key to increasing the numbers of younger people
participating in local democracy. The modern and fashionable nature of the web also has
the potential to increase participation within this age group.
7.4 Several issues still need resolving around the following themes:
- problems of public use of a system;
- public involvement in planning;
- problems of empowerment, social inclusion and exclusion; and,
- legal issues, mainly:
- Intellectual Property Rights;
- legislative context of planning law - is there enough time in the legal process to
undertake an on-line exercise to compliment current methods?
7.5 While the Slaithwaite case study worked extremely well the testing
of further on-line public participation systems is urgently required in both similar and
different settings. This is partly being realised in the wider research project with two
further case studies at the regional and national scales investigating new woodland
planting and nuclear waste disposal respectively. The levels of public involvement across
different spatial scales in combination with a series of single and multi-issue problems
needs to be investigated. This will contribute to an improvement in the understanding the
public have with regards particular planning issues and decision making problems.
7.6 Public access to the Internet is still relatively low at the
moment. All the indications suggest that levels of access are improving as many Internet
Service Providers are offering free access with only local telephone calls to be paid for.
While this is encouraging it hides the fact that the types of people going on-line are
dominated by middle class educated people. To avoid other sectors of society from being
excluded innovative means of engaging these people, such as the unemployed, are required.
Public access points in libraries, community centres and other public buildings should be
encouraged. Where public involvement in particular public participation initiatives is
required systems can be set up which allow access only to information on the specified
issue. This resolves the problem of providing unlimited WWW access which encourages people
to get distracted by other web sites. Many local authorities have public information
systems and kiosks. These can be adapted to provide facilities relating to specific
decision making questions and problems.
7.7 There is very little evidence on how local authorities view and may
react to the possibility of on-line public participation systems. While nearly all local
authorities have web sites the levels of interaction and participatory tools available
within them are extremely limited at present. Over the next 5 years or so the use of the
WWW by local authorities will inevitably increase and its potential for carrying out
public participation processes in all areas or local authority work is boundless. From the
evidence received so far it appears that the WWW offers a great opportunity to increase
public involvement in local decision making and can help to make such events more popular.
Appendix I: Public Comments
1. Carr Lane needs another pedestrian crossing near Lloyds Bank this
will be even more necessary following the canal development. A pinch points as suggested
should be avoided. These would only slow down traffic leading to even more congestion and
air pollution. Car parking is a very contentious point with the locals and needs a lot of
attention. A very good suggestion is that parking should be provided opposite the shops
once the canal is developed. The pavement at this side of the road is very little used and
should be done away with. Cars spaces could then be arranged in chevron to get the maximum
in and to look less obtrusive. It might be desirable in environmental terms to get rid of
cars altogether but that is just not going to happen - so you might as well plan for a lot
of cars unfortunately.
2. We think that the traffic problem in Carrs Road i.e. lorries and
other HGVs could be re-routed away from the village centre by an alternative road which
crosses the river further down towards Huddersfield directly on to Manchester road. When
the canal project is being constructed we envisage terrible congestion due to the heavy
traffic which has to travel along Cars Lane to the industrial estate. Our second point is
the appearance of the shop fronts in Carrs Lane. Their aesthetic appearance is not
conducive to how we perceive the village once the canal project has been completed. The
whole of the shop fronts that line Carrs road and line the route of the canal really ought
to be refurbished in some consistent style which fits in the canal ambience. Once this has
been done perhaps the canal and the shops could be brought together with cobbles.
3. Opportunities not yet grasped to announce the village to users of
the main road. Recent safety measures are sensible and beneficial but fail to convey a
sense of identity or character for the village.
4. Opportunity here for landmark design artwork to mark the point on
Manchester road which connects to village centre. Needs to be eye-catching but subtle and
respectful of the valleys landscape character
5. Access road for container traffic.
6. It would be good to rescue the path up to Bolster Moor before it is
7. A history of the network of paths which once led to the mills would
be useful in re-kindling interest in the paths which are still evident
8. Canal should be at least two boats wide and the street area in front
of the shops should be closed to traffic and made into a pedestrian area.
9. Get rid of it rugby
10. Play ground
11. Car sale
12. The canal towpath offers great potential for a traffic cycle route
along the length of the Colne Valley. It would be good to see this potential realised.
There seems to be a lot of concern over car parking in relation to the canal restoration -
cycles need parking places too.
13. The unit beneath the railway arches frequently produces huge
amounts of diesel fumes which float round the town centre.
14. This side of the swimming pool car park is very scruffy and
especially the steps from the road in the corner. This could be an extra amenity area.
15. The stream side gardens of the houses on brook terrace are mostly
overgrown and out of control. It would enhance the area if people were given help to
landscape the stream. Also the brook is very overgrown and strewn with debris.
16. Ban large lorries altogether. These sort of industries should be
sited elsewhere - not in the middle of nice villages.
17. Landscaping of the banking and surrounding areas of the reservoir
would improve its appearance . Cost of such improvement could be shared between the owners
and other sources. English Heritage.
18. Heavy vehicles accessing the industrial sites from Britannia road
are adding to near impossible congestion - the industrial areas being developed in this
part of Slaithwaite require access from Manchester road by other routing. Possibly a new
access road from further down the valley to relieve congestion in the centre of the
19. Hope that there will be good provision for cyclists along the canal
20. Build it ASAP. As long as there is still parking available in
Slaithwaite then the canal should be successful.
21. Connect to Manchester road is this possible it would solve many of
the heavy traffic problems
22. Put a permit holders only sign up on Netherend Road.
23. Maintain as wildlife corridor after re-opening of canal.
24. Raise height of water surface so that boats going through can view
shops along whole length of village shopping area.
25. Traffic control needed.
26. Dry ski slope.
27. Do not increase car parking spaces currently available.
28. Clean up the overall environment around the reservoir witch
includes nettles and bramble bushes that have died. Thank you!
29. Would actively support re-opening of canal through Slaithwaite.
Objections such as danger to children is preposterous as canal is already available to
children who wish to drown themselves - they also have the reservoir as an appropriate
30. Why are we not taking advantage of Slaithwaites spa town history
can we not re-establish somewhat of a spa town by restoring this area.
31. More litter bins should be provided in this area thank you
32. Double yellow lines should be placed in this area thank you
33. Needs pedestrianising with park and ride facilities
34. Please leave create more open space - we moved here from Leeds to
escape pollution from cars and lorries.
35. Maintain rail services to Slaithwaite and Marsden. Integrate this
service more substantially with that of the bus service rather than having both buses and
trains departing for Slaithwaite within 10 minutes of one another.
36. Stop HGV vehicles and introduce speed restrictions
37. Access to takeaway over the canal required
38. Need speed restrictions on Radcliffe road particularly where the
cars are parked on one side of the road. Also problem with vandalism on parked cards in
between Golcar and Slaithwaite which the police have given up on.
39. Too much heavy traffic very dangerous for all but especially the
young and the very old suggest more speed control and police along with more crossing
40. Traffic gets very congested at the top of Ned Lane and this is made
worse by people parking outside houses or to visit the shop in the old CO-OP. In the
interests of traffic flow and safety parking should be banned at all times of day - night
- evenings and weekends at this location
41. The Pack Horse car park could be used for a green area
42. They should make the playing field bigger and proper facilities
43. There are plans to develop this area - access needs to be
maintained - cobbled road and pathway
44. They should make the docking area smaller to make way for more
45. The ugly two meter drop needs to be landscaped with shrubs
46. The reintroduction of the canal is a disaster for the people who
live and work in Slaithwaite. It will destroy the way we live and too little attention is
being given to ordinary people and everyday life in favour of the canal enthusiasts
dreams. Yes it's coming but I wish it wasn't.
47. Football field
49. Clear up area. Undergrowth needs clearing out and trees cutting
back trimming. Footpath down to brook should be properly made up- over the bridge etc.
50. I am informed by Kirklees planning staff that no survey of traffic
volumes using Carr Lane and Bridge St. have been carried out. What I am concerned about is
the current traffic flow on these streets. If this canal project is part of an overall
design then a new road to the industrial state should be constructed from Manchester Rd.
I'm particularly concerned that if no traffic routing measures are worked out during the
construction phase of the canal then chaos will ensue
51. What is planned for this area where the current cherry blossom
trees exist. Are they to be replaced.
52. Its always got traffic jams - what shall we do?
53. Good place for a racing track.
54. Train station - a vets a leisure facilities - a ten pin bowling
centre - a night club.
55. Need CCTV in station car park if people are to feel safe leaving
cars there. Currently it is almost invariably empty.
56. Clean up and provide other facilities e.g. Skate ramp or BMX track.
57. Make an indoor fishing centre like a swimming pool except it has
fresh water in it instead of chlorine water.
58. Please ensure that the canal is integrated into the village by
stepping the towpath down on the road side. We should avoid having a steep sided cut that
is isolated from pedestrians on the village side.
59. This road is dangerous. Large vehicles can be travelling at speed
through this residential area. Children have to wait foe a bus to get them to Wilberlee
school at the side of the road. No pavement to walk to school either.
60. Improve the area at the head of the reservoir possibly with a
nature trail and tidy up the dam.
61. Reduce traffic speed. Enforce existing traffic restrictions. Dogs
fouling pavements a problem.
62. Would like to see additional toilets for locals and tourists. As
many trees as possible.
63. Make this road one way and the south side of the street blocked off
64. Put an permit holders only sign up because too many people park in
front of residential buildings.
65. This road is dangerous. Large vehicles can be travelling at speed
through this residential area. Children have to wait foe a bus to get them to Wilberlee
school at the side of the road. No pavement to walk to school either. Recently a child was
knocked over when visibility was bad. At least there needs to be a well enforced 20mph
restriction2cbetter still speed bumps and enforced compulsory restriction on large
vehicles. Accidents of serious nature waiting to happen.
66. Make this road one way.
67. Turn into a indoor fishing centre
68. Where is Spa Lane on this map?
69. Prevent access to the cricket field via Campinot Vale. Many people
- mainly children - come through this residential area and over the wall to the ground.
70. Make an fishing boat hire centre because this is a good place to
71. There has been much debate about the need to provide access to the
industrial area via nab lane ... This would be a shame if it detracted significantly from
the natural habitats which exist in the area and from the recreational use enjoyed by
many. However - the lorries are a problem in the village and if this route could be
developed sensitively - i.e. Noise reduction schemes - speed control - time restrictions
etc so as to minimise impact on residents - it would clearly be the most practical.
72. Bicycles need to have warning bells and use them. If to be allowed
on the tow path
74. Repair uneven paving
75. Dog dirt problem - possible use of special bins
76. Better facilities
77. Crunch corner swimming pool
78. Bradford bulls fan club office department
79. Sweet shop
80. Jazz hall
81. More cycle parking
82. Play area
83. Old peoples home
84. Leeds Utd. shop
85. Clean up operation
86. Footpath between houses at Crimble Corner is in need of cleaning up
and stream at top is sometimes diverted to run down the footpath! Can stream be rebuilt so
as to prevent this?
87. Ice rink
88. Rubbish dump
89. Water activity centre
90. Fishing tackle shop
91. Encourage other uses of retail premises. Propose a small business
scheme. Discourage new house-building when suitable older properties abound.
92. General comment on pubs in Slaithwaite: more real ales please!
93. Remove commercial vehicle parking from residential areas. Some
street-cleaning would be better than none!
94. Toxic waste ground
95. Lego world
97. Toys R Us
98. Change from chemicals
99. Traffic calming measures and permit parking
100. The car park should be used as a green area
101. New lorry access
103. Make it bigger
104. Swimming baths
106. Clear up land. Maybe plant trees etc
108. Sewage works
109. Cowdung sheds
110. Shopping centre - offices units - playing fields
111. Sports facilities
112. Fishing tackle shop
Appendix II: Public Feedback
Once people had finished browsing and making comments they were asked a
series of questions about how they felt after using the 'virtual' model. The following
seven questions were asked:
- 1. full control
- 2. some power to make changes
- 3. voiced my opinion - but have no power to make changes
- 4. been asked what I think
- 5. been told what changes will happen
- 6. no involvement in changes
- 7. no opinion
The table below summarises the number of response to each question.
Table 1: Responses to Feedback Questions:
||No. of Responses
|I have full control
|I have some power to make changes
|I have voiced my opinion - but have no power to make changes
|I have been asked what I think
|I have been told what changes will happen
|I have no involvement in changes
|I have no opinion
A final option allowing people to type further comments was also
provided and their responses are listed below.
1. Generally very good but would welcome more opportunity for open
discussion and debate
2. Very powerful way of getting people involved - much more effective
than discussion without a physical focus
3. The concept appears to be an excellent method on involving the
community and giving people a range of options to let them voice their opinion
4. This package is a great way of gaining additional info to complement
the physical model. I'm pretty computer literate (& used to program in FORTRAN many
years ago) but found this package rather sensitive to misuse - I managed to crash the
system first go by over clicking the mouse.
5. Finding out what people want is only the beginning and does not need
all this technology although it is fun. People need to have more real control over what
happens in their areas. Local Planning Departments are only reactive. People need to be
able to take the initiative to create developments and veto others. Local democracy is a
joke and devalued.
6. I enjoyed using this system and found the staff very informative in
making use of the system and in discussing possible other applications. Future models
might include sound and video and could receive information in sound (audio) format. There
are many voice packages now available at low cost which could be added. System was also a
little slow for most casual users.
7. It would be useful if this scheme were maintained for a longer
period so more people could be encouraged to participate. Perhaps by encouraging Colne
Valley Trust Services to provide an Internet link on an open access machine for say 3
months. You'd be surprised how many people would respond to this.
8. This has been a really good day packed with people and a good mix of
entertainment and planning. This could be used elsewhere.
9. A useful exercise in democracy with the added bonus of engendering
community spirit thank you. p.s. if it does happen please ensure some of the budget goes
on minimising impact on local community .in other words make the engineers and contractors
talk to us . once again thank you for listening
10. It is good to be given the chance to have a say - lets hope some of
the comments will make a difference
11. The village center has traffic problems. The roads are narrow but
the road planners want to make them narrower! The result even more congestion and slow
traffic = pollution. Lewisham road has listed buildings and is too narrow to be a lorry
route. Station road is not a suitable diversion for HGVs it is too narrow at the ends. The
solution would appear to be to improve public transport and strive to make the bus and
train services more frequent and reliable. A new access road to the industrial estate is
12. Make more public parks in
13. Reasonable system.
14. Good idea.
Appendix III: User Profiles Age Structure Profile
9. Relevant Web Pages Colne Valley Trust: http://www.digitalhighway.co.uk/colne-valley/
Kirklees Metropolitan Council: http://www.kirkleesmc.gov.uk/
VD-MiSP Project: http://www.ccg.leeds.ac.uk/vdmisp/
Virtual Slaithwaite: http://www.ccg.leeds.ac.uk/slaithwaite/
Virtual Society? Programme: http://www.virtualsociety.org.uk
10. Contact Information Richard Kingston
School of Geography
University of Leeds