Billericay construction firm launches virtual reality public consultation tool for Covid-19 and beyond

Virtual consultation graphic

A virtual public consultation tool to help residents and communities engage with local planning applications during the pandemic has been launched by Billericay property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood.

The online platform is an alternative to public events facing disruption amid the new tougher tier systems, meaning the public and stakeholders can view and comment on local proposed schemes at home during Covid-19.

The interactive tool can be accessed on computers, tablets and phones. It includes virtual public consultation boards comprising maps and key details of the proposal, as well as videos, and online feedback forms to replicate a normal community event.

David Cresswell, partner at Ingleton Wood, which works on schemes across Essex and East Anglia, said: “Like many others, we’ve had to innovate due to Covid-19 and are excited to unveil our virtual  public consultation tool which will allow communities to view and provide feedback on new planning applications in Essex.

 “The new platform brings to life projects in a fully digital environment that is easily accessible to people of all ages and computer ability. We’ve developed the platform in response to demand for an alternative safe environment to engage with local projects, but we also think this is the way forward and will become embedded in our culture during Covid-19 and beyond. We’re confident it’s future-proof. We’ve embraced technology like never before in 2020, across all generations, and with busier lifestyles and winters becoming more severe, we think more people will prefer an on-demand digital way of having their say on local plans – from the comfort of their sofa.”

Rising numbers of local authorities, housing developers and other organisations have started using the new remote platform, the consultancy added.

Ingleton Wood is one of the largest property and construction consultancies covering Central England, East Anglia, London and the South East, with offices in Colchester, Norwich, Cambridge, Billericay, Oxford and London. Its services include architecture, building surveying, building services engineering, planning, interior design, civil and structural engineering, quantity surveying, project management and health and safety.