South West planning excellence recognised at RTPI Awards 2021

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 4:10pm

Projects, teams and individuals from across the South West are in the running to win at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2021, it has been announced.

Finalists from the South West at this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are

Interactive Plymouth Plan, submitted by Plymouth City Council (Excellence in Tech within Planning Practice)

Transformation of groundbreaking plan into fully interactive website; a portal to the plan’s strategic vision and policies as well as its delivery and monitoring

The Planning Inspectorate's transformation of face-to-face examination events to virtual delivery, submitted by The Planning Inspectorate (Excellence in Tech within Planning Practice, Planning Heroes in a Pandemic)            

Adaption of all events-based planning casework across England to virtual hosting, enabling fair and robust oral examination of complex casework to continue during pandemic

Small Scale Employment Space Local Development Order, submitted by Somerset West and Taunton Council (Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy)

Providing independent entrepreneurs and small businesses with a mechanism to create or expand their businesses outside the District’s established centres for employment

South West Rail Resilience Programme, submitted by Network Rail (Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy, Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment)

Delivery of a new sea wall, running 360m along Marine Parade, Dawlish, giving an iconic stretch of railway greater resilience against waves that flood the track

Plymouth Climate Challenge and the Climate Emergency Bonus, submitted by Plymouth City Council (Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing, Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment)       

Project to inspire and encourage community-led climate action, an add-on to Plymouth’s award-winning crowdfunded City Change Fund

Cromhall Water Recycling Centre Integrated Constructed Wetland, South Gloucestershire, submitted by Wessex Water (Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment)   

First full-scale phosphorus treatment wetland in England, providing habitat for aquatic flora and fauna and increasing the biodiversity of the local area

Jersey Integrated Landscape and Seascape Character Assessment, submitted by Government of Jersey (Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment)

Assessment analysing, celebrating and informing a rich understanding of how the island’s landscape and seascape character contributes to its unique sense of place

Plymouth City Council (Planning Authority Team of the Year)

Featuring two teams who deal with the whole range of planning consents on an area basis plus teams focused specifically on strategic growth projects and technical support

Land Use Consultants (Planning Heroes in a Pandemic)  

Team fast-tracked the development of the LUC Consultation Hub and Virtual Consultation Room, allowing projects to progress with meaningful and constructive input from key stakeholders and the public, despite lockdown                            

Cheltenham Borough Council (Planning Heroes in a Pandemic)

Temporarily relaxing planning controls and taking a creative approach to enforcement has enabled the council to support local business proactively through Covid-19

Jessica Vaughan - Plymouth City Council (Young Planner of the Year)

Jessica leads the City’s award winning City Change Fund which uses the CIL neighbourhood proportion to enable and encourage community projects

The RTPI’s annual Awards for Planning Excellence are the longest-running and most respected in the UK planning industry. The awards celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society not just throughout the UK but internationally.

The climax of the ceremony, which will take place on virtual platform The Awards Room by Evessio on 29 April, will be the presentation of the Silver Jubilee Cup, awarded to the project adjudged best overall.

In total, 93 projects, teams and individuals across 15 categories have been selected by the independent judges this year. A new category for this year is Planning Heroes in a Pandemic, recognising the innovative work of planners in response to Covid-19.

The judging panel in 2021 will be chaired by Dyan Currie HonMRTPI, Chief Planner at Brisbane City Council, Australia and immediate Past President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners.

RTPI President Wei Yang FRTPI said: “For over 40 years, these prestigious awards have celebrated the exceptional work undertaken by town planners. In the middle of a global pandemic, I believe they are more relevant than ever before as we showcase the very best of our profession from all the RTPI’s regions and nations and from countries around the world.

“I am particularly pleased to see this year a new category has been created to recognise the incredible commitment and dedication of planners who have risen to the challenge of responding to the impacts of Covid-19 on the planning system.

“I wish all the finalists the very best of luck at the ceremony.”

Sarah Elliott MRTPI, UK&I Town Planning Lead for Buildings and Places at headline sponsor AECOM, said: “AECOM is proud to once again be a headline sponsor of this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. The finalists are a diverse mixture of outstanding examples of planning, including new responses driven by the pandemic and climate change. Once again this demonstrates the breadth of the impact the profession has on quality place making and delivery in the built environment, alongside our resilience to evolve and adapt.”

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