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PR 6 - Original 'eco-town' wins the top prize in National Planning Awards

08 February 2008

View the judges report in full

Sherwood Energy Village has won the Royal Town Planning Institute's Silver Jubilee Cup, the top prize in planning. The award was presented by Baroness Andrews, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, at a ceremony in London's Hilton Hotel earlier today. Sherwood won from amongst a broad range of projects helping to tackle climate change. The award shows how serious planners are about putting the environment first.

Baroness Andrews said: \"Sherwood Energy Village is a deserving winner and outstanding example of citizens taking their community and the environment seriously. Housing and planning has a major role to play in tackling climate change – from 2016 all new homes will be zero carbon - and by giving this award the Royal Town Planning Institute is recognising the role strong communities play in tackling climate change and urban renewal.\"

Mike Ash, chief awards judge said: \"The Royal Town Planning Institute's Silver Jubilee Cup recognises the very best in planning. Sherwood Energy Village is remarkable in that it shows how a strongly motivated community can take the lead in transforming not just the physical, but the economic and social fortunes of their town.\"

East Midlands regional minister Phil Hope said: "This fantastic achievement by Sherwood Energy Village highlights the talent, ambition and excellence which has been harnessed within the East Midlands region.

"The RTPI has awarded its highest national honour to the former coal mining town community of Ollerton which just 14 years ago, appeared to be facing a bleak future. The spirit with which they faced up to the impact of job losses, while at the same time wanting to produce a truly green environment to repair the damage of the coal mining, is inspirational.

"I commend all those partners who have worked so hard and successfully to regenerate the area through skills improvement, sustainable housing and business growth."

A précis from the judges' report on Sherwood Energy Village and a full list of winners and commendations is included below.

For further information please contact:

Andrew Kliman, RTPI Communications Manager: 0207 929 9479, mob. 07870 672 020

Précis of the Judges report:

\"SHERWOOD ENERGY VILLAGE\"
submitted by Newark and Sherwood District Council

Sherwood Energy Village (SEV) was established in 1995 as an Industrial Provident Society. It arose as a result of the closure of Ollerton Pit in 1994 and two textile factories. The 15,000 population of Ollerton was devastated by the abrupt loss of jobs but also by the large tracts of contaminated land at its heart. A group of local activists came together determined to make a future for their town from their own efforts.

Central to the concept was that future development would not have polluting side effects, that local people would be the developers and that any profits would be reinvested in the site and the wider town. By August 2007 the site had been transformed. More than half is occupied by commercial development in modern buildings incorporating sustainable building techniques and energy efficiency measures. 600, mainly local, people are now employed on the site, the same number as were employed when the pit closed.

196 houses comprising 13 different house types, with eco homes excellent rating as minimum, are currently under construction and linked to the High Street, which is now fully occupied by shops and commercial businesses. Plans are also afoot to sponsor local people through university. SEV have proved how low carbon developments can be delivered on a large scale with a quality product.

The transformation of the site and the future of Ollerton in a little over ten years, by committed local people determined to be in control of their own destiny, truly merits an Award in the Town Regeneration category and is the overall winner of the Silver Jubilee Cup.

The full list of winners is as follows:

RTPI PLANNING AWARDS 2007

Sustainable Communities

Award (Entry no. 87): \"Isle of Gigha Physical Masterplan and Design Guides\"
Submitted by Anderson Bell Christie Architects together with Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust, Fyne Homes, Mike Hyatt Landscape Architects, ODS, CP Architects and DPC Consortium

Award (Entry no. 43): \"Upton Sustainable Urban Extension\"
Submitted by English Partnerships and EDAW

City and Metropolitan Areas

Award (Entry no 50): \"Sheffield's Gold Route\"
Submitted by Sheffield City Council

Commendation (Entry no 41): \"The Brighton New England Quarter\"
Submitted by Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd

Town Regeneration

Award (entry no 59): \"Sherwood Energy Village\"
Submitted by Newark & Sherwood District Council

Renewed Neighbourhoods

Commendation (Entry no 79): \"Delivering Debut – Debut@Willans Green Rugby\"
Submitted by Redrow Homes (Midlands) Ltd

Commendation (Entry no 53): \"Nene Waterfront Wisbech\"
Submitted by Fenland District Council

Rural Areas and the Natural Environment

Award (Entry no 37): \"Broads Authority Sustainability Guide\"
Submitted by Broads Authority

Commendation (Entry no 10): \"Rainham Marshes – flagship for a greener Thames Gateway\"
Submitted by RSPB

Heritage

Award (Entry no 74): \"Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands\"
Submitted by Terence O'Rourke and DaimlerChrysler Retail (DCR) Ltd

Commendation (entry no 26): \"Tiverton Pannier Market Enhancement Scheme\"
Submitted by Mid Devon District Council

Planning Process

Award (Entry no 66): \"Health and Urban Planning Toolkit\"
Submitted by NHS London Healthy Urban Development Unit

Award (Entry no 47): \"Celebrating 30 years of planning for real\"
Submitted by Neighbourhoods Initiatives Foundation

Commendation (Entry no 33): \"Community Engagement in Area Action Plans\"
Submitted by Burnley Borough Council

Commendation (Entry no 27): \"Building a Better Environment – a guide for developers\"
Submitted by Environment Agency

Commendation (Entry no 56): \"DLR Langdon Park Station\"
Submitted by Docklands Light Railway

E-Government

Award (Entry no 83): \"Northamptonshire's ECA & GI Suite\"
Submitted by River Nene Regional Park Partnership

Commendation (Entry no 71): \"Ancoats Urban Village Virtual Model\"
Submitted by New East Manchester Ltd and ARUP

Spatial Strategies

Award (Entry no 76): \"Marine Spatial Strategies\"
Submitted by Terence O'Rourke Ltd

Commendation (Entry no 11): \"Redcar & Cleveland Local Development Framework\"
Submitted by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council

Commendation (Entry no 57): \"LB Barnet Primary Schools Capital Investment Programme – Planning Strategy\"
Submitted by London Borough of Barnet

Climate Change

Award (Entry no 64): \"2010 – A Waste Odyssey : Development of a Sustainable Waste Management Park\"
Submitted by Cambridgeshire County Council

THE SILVER JUBILEE CUP FOR 2007 HAS BEEN AWARDED TO \"Sherwood Energy Village\"
Submitted by Newark & Sherwood District Council

NO AWARD HAS BEEN MADE FOR ARTS CULTURE AND SPORT OR EQUALITY OR DIVERSITY

Editors Notes:

1. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work. As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development. For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: www.rtpi.org.uk
41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865

2. The Event took place at:
The London Hilton on Park Lane on 7 February 2008 from 12.00pm.