Ballymore survey criticised as partial

9th October 2023

Ballymore have come under criticism after updating their consultation page to focus on a survey by Savanta. The survey involved 'a series of pre-screening questions followed by prompts' which saw 377 adults interviewed over two weeks in August. Strikingly, only 31% surveyed lived in HA8, the area most affected by the Edgware development. Ballymore are now promoting the statistic that '70% said they thought the plans will have a positive impact', which is a big contrast to their online Commonplace surveys.

Only 31% of those surveyed were from Edgware

Unsurprisingly, locals have accused Ballymore of cherry-picking the stats that seem in favour of their high-rise Edgware development. This comes three years after the company were 'forced to act after online ratings site Trustpilot issued a formal “cease and desist” warning for it stop its own staff from posting positive reviews of the firm.'

In reality, their development plans have not been so well received by locals after the company ran an online consultation open from July to September. Across 340 comments, over 90% commented negatively about the plans, with objections to the height, density and overcrowding the most voiced. Why Ballymore have then gone and commissioned a separate survey, and one that has come back with such different results, raises questions.

The main focus of Ballymore's consultation webpage

58% visited the town centre at least once a week

Another criticism of the survey is that residents were only given a 'brief description of what is proposed', which somewhat questions how bias the survey was. For example, 37% of those questioned weren't aware of the plans, with 6% unsure if they were aware - which makes 43% being fed the information on the doorstep. Locals have branded the questions as 'vague' and 'misleading', including one that reads 'which would you prefer to see in Edgware? A larger development that delivered more community benefits [or] a smaller development that delivered fewer community benefits.' Not only is that a leading question, 'larger' is ambiguous - the Broadwalk site is a fixed size.

Another fault is the same question is displayed twice, but with differing results. In Q12 only 28% feel 'new homes' are a priority, yet in Q13 of the same wording that figure is 60%.

Also of note, just over half said they visited the town centre at least once a week, and just under half agreed they had doubts about the regeneration.

You can view the Savanta survey in full here.

340 comments were logged on Commonplace

As published on Savanta's website