President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Cath Ranson last week (25 March) awarded Cllr Stephanie Griffin, Vice Chair of North Lanarkshire’s Planning and Transportation Committee, a certificate to highlight the success of Cumbernauld as a New Town.
Awarding the certificate, part of the Institute’s centenary year celebrations, Cath Ranson, President of the RTPI, said: “People have every reason to be proud of Cumbernauld which helped tackle some of the worst housing conditions and overcrowding in the country at the time. Whilst its modernist architecture continues to be the subject of strong opinions, Cumbernauld has grown and thrived as a town. There’s a strong community spirit about the town which is always a sign of successful places. I am delighted that the Royal Town Planning Institute is recognising its importance with the award of the ‘Mature Planned Communities’ certificate to Cumbernauld.”
During her Presidential visit to Cumbernauld, Cath Ranson toured the key sites in the town with Shirley Linton, Head of Planning at North Lanarkshire Council and some of the Planning Team.
Pictured: Cath Ranson President of the RTPI with staff from North Lanarkshire Council.
Cllr Stephanie Griffin said: “Our planning officers have responsibility for looking after the town, for ensuring that it prospers and develops, building on the excellent work of their predecessors, from the Development Corporation and more recently from North Lanarkshire Council.
“However the community is at the heart of Cumbernauld life, and we have very many strong and committed community groups throughout the town, proud of their home and keen to see Cumbernauld further mature and build on its many assets. They are active in helping to identify and deliver types of facility to meet the diversity of community needs in today’s town, and they can be considered the true “custodians”.
“I would like to thank the Royal Town Planning Institute for this certificate on their behalf.”
The town has won numerous awards including most improved town in Scotland 2010 and contains some of the best examples of a modernist architecture in the UK. It was the third settlement to be designated a new town in Scotland and now is the 8th biggest town in Scotland. From a planning perspective the original masterplan played a key role in guiding development and what is called a ‘whole place approach’ was taken that looked at buildings and the spaces in between them. The masterplan ultimately ensured that a series of attractive, liveable neighbourhoods were created. A key part of the design was the separation of people and cars, and the creation of underpasses, pedestrian footbridges and segregated footpaths. Cumbernauld won the best town in the Scottish Design Award 2012.
With 23,000 members worldwide working in the public, private, charitable and education sectors, the RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners in Europe. As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built and natural environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development.