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Countesswells, Aberdeen: a structure for community liaison

Countesswells is a new community of 7,000 people being developed on the western edge of Aberdeen. The project is a private sector led development, with a managing developer and a number of housebuilders involved. Given its scale, the site covers three community council areas. Each represented surrounding areas with differing challenges and interests. 

Coordinating Community Responses 

The developer recognised a need to act in a facilitating capacity by bringing the three different community councils together. Engagement took place in the three community areas but, from the developer’s perspective, there was a need for a co-ordinated response. A community liaison group was therefore created, comprising representatives from each of the three community council areas. The group was established once the site was zoned for development within the Local Development Plan. Initially there were some tensions but eventually the members began to understand each other’s perspectives and moved towards consensus. This group was the forerunner of the residents’ association that has now been established, and which plays an active role in helping to manage the new community. It may, in the future, become its own community council. 

Lessons Learned

The role of the developer has been to act as the broker in the process of bringing separate communities’ groups together. Operating for a four-year period before development began, the liaison group became a proactive participant in the development and design process rather than being a reactive brake on the project. It highlights that community representatives can positively contribute towards the development process.

Find Out More

For more information visit the Countesswells website.

Countesswells: Live well at Countesswells - infographic imagery from the Countesswells development