Our objective is to make a positive impact in the communities in which we operate. We recognise that our construction projects affect the surrounding area, so we aim to maximise the benefits to the communities in which we work and minimise any negative impacts by actively engaging with local stakeholders before and during construction. We also support charitable causes at Group, division, business unit and project level, by donating time, money and materials.
During the planning stages of a project we engage proactively and openly with the local community and other stakeholders to understand any concerns they may have. The extent of consultation will vary depending on the size and nature of the project. Our Linden Homes projects, which are typically larger in size, follow our ‘Best Practice in Consultation’ guidance document on each site. The outcomes from these consultations often result in positive adaptations to our projects, for example play spaces co-designed with local children at Cholsey Meadow and alterations to the design of our homes following community and local resident workshops at Freshney Green.
Our sites keep the local community informed about our projects during construction through a range of medium (e.g. newsletters, noticeboard, community meetings etc.) but each will also have a bespoke website which is regularly updated with construction information. QR codes linking to the relevant website are displayed on site hoardings.
Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS)
All sites are required to comply with strict procedures to ensure that the neighbourhood impact of construction activities is kept to a minimum. As Associate Members of the Considerate Constructors Scheme (which is an industry body with the aim of promoting the image of construction) all sites with a duration of longer than six weeks are registered in the scheme and are independently evaluated by CCS auditors against best practice measures of appearance, community, environment, safety and workforce. We support our sites to meet the demanding requirements of the scheme by providing guidance notes and sharing best practice.
Community and Charity Support
At a Group, Division and project level we proactively support charitable causes – giving financial donations, material donations and time. We are patrons of the charity CRASH and through this have support projects to provide homes for homeless people, such as MoCoCo House and St Paul’s Homes. We are also Friends of The Prince's Regeneration Trust. At a divisional level Linden Homes have set up the Linden Homes foundation through which they provide energy and resources to benefit of the communities in which they operate.
To facilitate our employees’ involvement in charitable activitiess in 2014 we introduced a volunteering policy entitling all employees to up to two days paid leave.
Promoting the Construction Industry
We recognise that the number of people working in the construction industry is in decline and there is risk of a future skills shortage. We therefore actively try to promote the industry. For more information on how we do this please see here.
We spend more than 90% of our turnover with subcontractors, most of which are local small and medium-sized enterprises. They benefit significantly from the work we do with them. For example, a detailed study of one of our projects, Ogwell Brook, found that:
- Two-thirds of the subcontractors were based within 30 miles of the site
- Three-quarters of the suppliers were based within the region
- The project created 73 jobs and 11 apprenticeships
By using local employment and by trying to source materials locally too we will be providing an economic boost through our purchasing power.