During his visit to members in the North West of England, RTPI President Phil Williams visited a number of RTPI Award winning projects including the Manchester Airport, ‘Revealing the Roch’, Alderley Park and the Storyhouse Theatre in Chester.
At Manchester Airport, RTPI North West’s 2016 Award for Planning Excellence winner, he met with representatives from Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Airport. Picture: Chris Findley, AGMA, Andrew Murray, Manchester Airport, Nicola Kane, TFGM, Phil Williams and John Twigg, Manchester Airport
They discussed two initiatives that are reshaping the North of England. The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is identifying the right land in the right places to deliver the homes and jobs the area needs up to 2035, along with the new infrastructure required to achieve this. While, Transport for the North is bringing together representatives from across the North of England to allow the North to speak with a single voice.
After touring the new areas of investment at the airport, Phil said:
“They are using their investment strategically to spearhead growth in the North West, supporting inward investment through a place led approach to development that will support not just the city region but the UK as a whole. Their approach is innovative and it’s clear they are looking to support economic growth rather than a narrow, project specific ‘airport infrastructure’ focus. It’s no surprise the judge’s awarded it the region’s top prize.”
After meeting with newly chartered town planners at Eversheds (pictured below), Phil travelled to Rochdale to visit another award winning project. ‘Revealing the Roch’ won the Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment category at this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. The project has restored the bridge by repairing damaged stonework and rebuilding the section that was removed when the culvert was built. Phil is pictured with Katie Wray, RTPI North West Chair and representatives from Rochdale Borough Council.
Seeing the impact of the project first-hand, Phil said:
“This is a unique and exciting project which has transformed the centre of Rochdale Town Centre. I was pleased to see how planners drove a heritage-led approach which has resulted in a strong design outcome. This is a perfect example of how planners can help rejuvenate a place to encourage further economic investment.”
Katie Wray, RTPI NW Chair, added
‘It was particularly inspirational to meet local businesspeople who testified to the tangible economic benefits of the scheme and are clearly proud of their area.'
In Chester, Phil donned a hard hat and toured the Storyhouse Theatre - a theatre, cinema, studio theatre space and the new home of the Chester Library, all currently under construction. Planners were heavily involved in the £37m project which incorporates the Odeon building from 1936. It recently won in the Collaboration category at RTPI North West’s Awards for Planning Excellence.
“I enjoyed hearing about the collaborative approach taken by the project team throughout the development of the Storyhouse Theatre. Planners thoroughly considered the context, site and end user’s needs. The end result is a terrific, functional asset for the community.”
HOW Planning hosted Phil during his visit to Aderley Park, a new international bioscience campus. It will attract up to 7,000 jobs, deliver 275 new homes, a village shop, hotel, pub and new recreational facilities for the community. It won the Regeneration category in the RTPI North West’s Awards for Planning Excellence.
“I saw the strong and creative planning undertaken by the project team, who sought to work alongside the planning system and local authority planners to bring forward a successful framework for future development.”
Phil next visits members in London on 21 November and the East Midlands on 24 and 25 November.