So how does the ESP process work?
The best way to understand the ESP process is to first consider a normal speculative development where most of the work is done by professional organisations and the people who will live in the development only come at the end. This process includes buying the land, preparing designs, securing planning permission, managing construction, marketing and selling homes to landlord investors or future residents. As many people know this is a very fragmented, confrontational and risky process. Often many parties are disappointed with the end results, the whole process takes a long time and involves significant waste.
Now think about a new type of development process where a percentage of future residents of a community is identified early on in the process and sold a development opportunity to acquire a serviced plot within the development. We call these people the early adopters and they help the enabling developer complete a planning application. Then imagine post planning – more people can buy serviced plots, and everyone is developing their own home together. Finally more households arrive as the enabling developer complete shells for customisation and fit out by residents, based on a managed supply chain.
This type of process is thoroughly different to speculative development, and allows future residents of a community to engage at several stages along the process. In this way, communities can emerge, contributing to design decisions, of individual homes and of the outdoor spaces.
The diagrams below contrast the two methods.