Re: Neighbourhood Conflict
From: Unnat (
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 07:55:26 -0500

Hi Paul

Oh dear, it's exhausting isn't it?  We had neighbourhood opposition for years
before we stared building, about our development, our motives, other people
wanting to move into the area because they liked what we're doing...   We've
been called a cult, various orders of spiritual fanatics, hippies! - maybe my
clothing gave me away :-)  All the symtoms of ignorance and fear wrapped up in
an important sounding package called the H.H. Resident Action Group (which
wouldn't allow renters in the area to participate).  The very bitter 'leader' of
this group sold up (to one of the members in our  community!) and left the area
soon after Council made their final decision on the project.  We seem to be
developing good relations with the neighbours now.

I think Scott's suggestions hit the spot.  Communicate with the neighbours, some
community building, eg monthly community dinners/BBQ's/brunch.  Are you involved
with Neighbourhood Watch or similar?  Speak to the Community Development Officer
in your local Council, local Councillors, etc  A 'listening' forum, to hear what
the concerns, fears, misconceptions are; where you don't dispute, argue the
point or 'take on' the problems presented.  A skilfull facilitator would be
useful and followed by refreshments.  Produce a simple news and info leaflet to
letterbox the neighbourhood.  Include some human interest stories.  Play a
compassionate and sincere game.

Bon chance
Robyn Williams
Pinakarri Community
Fremantle, Western Australia

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