For the sixth year running, the Royal Town Planning Institute North West (RTPI-NW) was inundated by entries for the regional planning awards. Judges carried out six site visits across the North West, together with two interviews in September, duly selecting the winning projects.
The East Lancashire Railway 2020 Development Strategy
The East Lancashire Railway 2020 Development Strategy won the award for best regeneration initiative and was overall of the \"Royal Town Planning Institute North West & \"WYG\" Planning Achievement Awards\" for 2010. Submitted by East Lancashire Railway Trust (ELR), the Trust has been a major catalyst in generating investment along the railway route, with the development of retail, residential, leisure, restaurant, accommodation and recreational facilities.
Mike Eastham, the RTPI NW Awards Co-ordinator, said: \"Annually, the socio-economic impacts of the ELR identified in the 2020 Strategy include the generation of £3.85M in gross expenditure for the regional economy, the support of 70 jobs, £10M of catalytic investment along the ELR corridor, and public investment between 1984 and 2008 of £8.72M. The ELR has consistently attracted over 100,000 visitors a year directly to the railway and to the surrounding towns and countryside.\"
Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site Supplementary Planning
Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site Supplementary Planning won coveted award Best Planning Document and the RTPI NW & IHBC NW Award for Conservation Document which was submitted by Liverpool City Council, Atkins Heritage, Liverpool Vision, English Heritage, Government Office North West, North West Development Agency and the Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment (CABE). The Spatial Development Plan (SPD) was prepared following intervention from UNESCO, which was concerned about new developments having an adverse impact on the World Heritage Site. The SPD provides detailed planning guidance for conservation and regeneration in the WHS and its associated buffer zone. The SPD addresses the relevant local planning issues, meets national statutory requirements and is consistent with international advice on good management of cultural heritage assets within dynamic cities.
Mike Eastham, the RTPI NW Awards Co-ordinator, said: \"The SPD is well structured and the reader is guided effortlessly through the document, together with the summary and the related evidential report. The Judges liked the way the guidance was split into three sections: general guidance for the World Heritage Site and its Buffer Zone; guidance specific to WHS; and guidance specific to the character areas within the WHS. At the same time, the City Council has not shied away from the issue of tall buildings.\"
The Overall Award and the RTPI NW & IHBC NW Award for Conservation was presented during the Annual Dinner at the Lowry Hotel, in Salford, on Friday 1st October. All of the other the awards, together with the commendations will be presented at the RTPI NW Annual General Meeting, which will be held on Friday 3rd December.
\"WYG\" Planning Consultancy kindly sponsored the Awards.
1. East Lancashire Railway Trust comprises: Rossendale Borough Council, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Bury Council and East Lancashire Light Railway Company. Planners from Bury, Rochdale, Rossendale and the former Greater Manchester County Council took the lead on forming the ELR Trust in 1984 and Board of Management, commissioning the initial feasibility and marketing studies and securing grant support. The planners also established project teams working on detailed funding applications, reclamation, station area regeneration and heritage, tourism and economic development.
2. The preparation of the SPD commenced in October 2006 and it was finally adopted by Liverpool City Council in October 2009. Funding for the production of the SPD was provided by the North West Development Agency and English Heritage. The over-arching aim of the SPD is \"To provide a framework for protecting and enhancing the outstanding universal value of Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site, whilst encouraging investment and development which secures a healthy economy and supports regeneration\". The SPD for the Liverpool World Heritage Site, with its summary and evidential report, is believed to be the most detailed planning document for any WHS in the United Kingdom.