When plans were first submitted to the Council, and residents of Somerton House reacted angrily and fearfully to the proposals, a local Councillor contacted both Unison and Squire & Partners with a view to setting up a meeting.
The residents and the Councillor were both very hopeful of a meeting within the following week, or so. No response was forthcoming, and the suggested meeting date came and went without a word from Unison.
Over one month later, with model and photography proudly displayed, Unison, Quatro PR and Squire & Partner all managed to attend a meeting with residents. The meeting location and time were agreed with less than a week to go, so residents were very happy with their turnout of over 25% of residents. Word of mouth quickly spread the news of the site, it’s scale and the oppressing view of it from Somerton House.
Unison have apologised for not being as organised with the consultation to the south of Euston Road as they were with the residents to the north.
The proposers of the development explained their plans to the residents, along with photographic ‘now and then’ examples. Residents of Somerton House expressed their concern that the building was quite so tall, quite so close, and quite obtrusive. Although the representatives agreed unanimously that they would not mind living in Somerton House, even with their new office block in place, it was conceded by the P.R. representative that they are developing a big building, and it will have an impact on the lives of residents.
The meeting ended after 45 minutes, when it became apparent that Unison were not willing to budge on their idea, and that residents were even more determined to campaign against the plans after seeing the model and photography.
The Meeting was held on the 2nd of Novmber 2007 in the TA room at Somerton House.