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Past Awards

North East Regional Awards for Planning Excellence 2016 

2016 Awards Logo

RTPI North East: restored stately home and gardens in Wynyard wins top award


The Wynyard Gardens and Visitor Centre, submitted by England Lyle Good, has won the top prize at RTPI North East's Awards for Planning Excellence 2016.

Wynyard Gardens and Visitor Centre is part of a wider £5.3m redevelopment of a Grade II listed historic stately home and hotel, it includes a new visitor centre, farm shop, £1.6m walled rose garden, and one of the North East's biggest glasshouses constructed on the site of an original 1840s greenhouse.

RTPI North East Awards Wynyard Winner

Martyn Earle, Chair of RTPI North East said:

"The Wynyard Gardens and Visitor Centre shone through as the outstanding entry in this year's awards. The entry demonstrated outstanding planning achievement with planners bringing together strong design, historic preservation and regeneration."

Ian Lyle, Director, ELG Planning commented;

"ELG Planning were delighted to win the RTPI North East Award for Planning Excellence in 2016.  In 21 years in business it was the first time we had ever entered any of the RTPI awards and whilst we knew the Wynyard Gardens and Visitor Centre project was special it was really pleasing to get the positive feedback and recognition from the judging panel.  Winning the award has helped in raising the company's profile, especially with clients outside the North East and Yorkshire, and emboldened by this win we  entered this the  national RTPI Planning Excellence Awards 2017and have been shortlisted  as one of just four finalists for the  'Planning Consultancy of the Year' Award." 

The other finalists recognised at the 2016 RTPI North East Regional Awards 2016 are:

2016 Chair's Award

RTPI North East STEM 1_Chairs Award

STEM Centre, Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough Council

A unique facility that brings together education, training and local businesses in one building in Middlesbrough. It will helps place the North East at the forefront of training and learning in the oil, gas, manufacturing and engineering trades.

2016 Commendation

RTPI North East Awards 2016 The Curve

The Curve, Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough Council

A state of the art, environmentally friendly building at the heart of the Teesside University Campus Heart Development. The £22m project signifies the commitment to the Teesside 2020 vision to be an international university with a reputation for academic excellence.

The RTPI North East Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate outstanding projects that demonstrate the power of planning. Entries reflect the diversity of planning achievement, whether in urban or rural areas, large or small in scale, involving new development, regeneration or conservation. Entries come from the public, private and community sectors.

Our winners on the evening;

Award winners

Other shortlisted entries considered were:

Yarm School entered by Yarm School and associated Architects

The Malings, Ouseburn enterest by Cundall

Other entries considered were:

The Woodlands, Shortley Bridge; Stockton High Street Regeneration; Acklam Hall Middlesbrough, Boho 5, Middlesbrough; Delhi Historic Parkland Restoration; Central Park, Darlington; Gateshead Hot Food Takeaway Supplementary Planning Document; Gateshead Surface Water (SuDS) Guidelines for New Development Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

The winners were announced at RTPI North East's Annual Gala Dinner and Regional Awards Presentation Evening in Newcastle on 7 October 2016. The event was sponsored by Barton Willmore, Bond Dickinson, Nathanial Litchfield and Partners, WYG and Northumbria Water.

Get involved: RTPI North East

Chairs logoChair's Special Award 2016 - The importance of Delivery

In addition to the main annual award there will also be an award recognising the importance of delivery following plan making.  This can be the realisation of complex and detailed masterplans and strategic proposals or the detailed design of individual proposals to a standard higher than originally planned or envisaged.  We are looking to see evidence of obstacles overcome and flexibility within the delivery that ultimately resulted in a better final development.


North East Regional Awards for Planning Excellence 2015

2015 Awards Winner2015 Awards Commendation


Regional Awards Winner - Core Strategy and Urban Core Plan, entered by Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council.  

"Winning the RTPI award was a real accolade to the planning teams who worked tirelessly to prepare the Core Strategy and Urban Core Plan for Gateshead and Newcastle. Both Councils were immensely proud to receive the award and delighted to be recognised by the Planning community.  The award demonstrates continued commitment of the Councils in delivering excellent planning services for our communities. It was a huge achievement for the Planning Teams and the Councils" 

Kath Lawless, Assistant Planning Director of Newcastle Council and Neil Wilkinson, Spatial Planning and Environment Manager 


Chairs Award - Newcast City Futures: People, Places, Change: An Exhibition of Newcastle's Built Heritage.  School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, entered by Newcastle University

Commendation - Morpeth Flood Alleviation Scheme, entered by Environment Agency and Northumberland Councy Council

Shortlisted projects announced 

We are delighted to announce our shortlisted five projects, plans and policies that have demonstrated excellence and contributed to outstanding planning projects in the North East.  The RTPI North East Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate the very best in planning projects and attracted submissions from the commercial, public and voluntary sectors.

Winners of the Planning Excellence awards will be annouced at the Gala Dinner on Friday 23rd October, please book your tickets here to attend.

The shortlisted projects include;

Morpeth Flood Alleviation Scheme, Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council



Morpeth is the principal market town in the county of Northumberland and is at risk of flooding from the River Wansbeck and its tributaries. The Environment Agency began planning a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding in 2007. In September 2008, extreme rainfall led to the flooding of over 1,000 homes and businesses in the town. Between 2008 and 2012 the Environment Agency worked with Northumberland County Council, residents of Morpeth and other local stakeholders to develop a technically feasible and socially acceptable scheme. This involved significant consultation and engagement.

 Engaging with others during both the planning and delivery of this scheme was key, and an innovative solution was needed for this historic market town where previous flood risk plans had been rejected on aesthetic grounds. During the planning of the scheme the partnership also influenced other developments in the area in order to realise added benefits, namely a supermarket development next to the Cotting Burn which has contributed to flood risk measures appearance of the conservation area and to steer funding to regenerate buildings and the area. The scheme was partnered with local residents and neighbourhood groups.


Newcastle City Futures; People, Places, Change: An Exhibition of Newcastle's Build Heritage, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University  

New City Futures


The Newcastle City Futures was a multi-media exhibition and event series devised as a pop-up urban room and created to promote an innovative city-wide approach to engaging residents, local authorities, politicians, service providers, charities and businesses about the future of Newcastle and Gateshead. Over 19 days it received over 2,400 visitors, established a network of more than 22 different partners across the city and hosted 24 free public events.

The exhibition was designed to make planning and urban change issues accessible to a wider audience to spark a big conversation. Innovatively, positive change through planning was made real by presenting oral histories from community members, linking personal stories to previously unseen photographs, showing historic films and artefacts from living memory, and presenting models of built, unbuilt, demolished and imagined development and city plans for Newcastle and Gateshead. This format allowed participants to connect to the past, present and future of Tyneside, and support a well-informed debate about how Newcastle and Gateshead should develop over the next 50 years?


Core Strategy and Urban Core Plan, Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council

New GatesH Core Strategy


Newcastle and Gateshead adopted their Core Strategy and Urban Core Plan on 26th March 2015 following six years of plan preparation and extensive consultation. The adoption of this Plan is a major step forward for Newcastle and Gateshead and is a significant achievement for both Councils and the North East of England.

 The Plan will guide development in Newcastle and Gateshead to 2030 and beyond. It ensures the vital economic success of Gateshead and Newcastle by optimising the opportunities for new housing and economic development which ensures the best use of services and facilities. 

 The Plan is the first Local Plan Document to be adopted in the North East of England, and Newcastle is the only Core City to work in partnership with another authority to prepare a joint Plan. The Councils have been commended by the Inspector and other stakeholders for their efforts in consultation and working together when preparing the Plan.


Newcastle Great Park, Robinson Landscape Design Ltd

New Great Park


Newcastle Great Park is a major expansion of the residential and working areas of Newcastle into urban fringe farmland on the North West edge of the city.  The scheme is divided into a series of districts, each of which is situated in an extensive landscape setting with distinctive, new, large scale green infrastructure features such as community woodland, reed beds, swales, new areas of riverine flood plain and wildflower meadows, play areas, footpaths, cycleways, bridleways and landforms in a variety of designs and scales. 

Together, the green setting for this new development provides a landscape, recreational and biodiversity asset of tremendous value to existing and future residents.  Robinson Landscape Design Ltd. have worked with ecologists, architects, engineers, the City of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Environment Agency. 


YES Planning: 'A Toolkit for Engaging Young People in the Town Planning Process', School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University

YES Plan


Over the 3 year period of the umbrella 'YES Planning' project, a number of final year town planning students have undertaken research around and piloted methods of engagement with young people.

These students developed the toolkit as part of their final year Linked Research Project.  This involved building upon the foundation research and piloting of the 'YES Planning' initiative that has been running within the School since the autumn of 2012. 

Essentially, the engagement toolkit can be used by town planners, teachers and those working with young people so that they can begin a dialogue about their local environment.  The toolkit operates on the premise that the facilitator may not know much about working with young people or that they may not know much about town planning (possibly in the case of a teacher), so it uses visual methods and images of the built environment to draw young people into that conversation.

Students have rigorously tested the toolkit's different activities with young people between 11 – 18 years of age, in youth group, school and engagement project settings.  They have worked with young people of mixed abilities and with various ages in those situations.  The young people have found the sessions to be fun and informative.  


The RTPI North East Region was established in 2006 and ran its first Regional Awards Scheme in that year. 

Its predecessor, the RTPI Northern Branch (which included Cumbria) had organised themed annual awards since 1984, during which time distinguished winners included Bessie Surtees House, Newcastle (New Life for Old Buildings, 1989), the River Tees Barrage (Water and Development, 1994), the Sea to Sea Cycle Route (Planning for Cycling, 1996), the Eco Centre, Hebburn (Planning Making a Difference, 1997), East Quayside, Newcastle (Spaces, 1998), the Hadrians Wall World Heritage Site Management Plan (Delivering Results through Partnership, 1999), Tynemouth Village (Planning with Communities, 2001), and the Grainger Town Regeneration Project, Newcastle (2003).

The winners and commended entries in the RTPI North East Regional Awards Scheme are listed below.

2015 Awards Winner2015 Awards Commendation

Regional Awards Winner - Core Strategy and Urban Core Plan, entered by Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council.  

Chairs Award - Newcast City Futures: People, Places, Change: An Exhibition of Newcastle's Built Heritage.  School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, entered by Newcastle University

Commendation - Morpeth Flood Alleviation Scheme, entered by Environment Agency and Northumberland Councy Council

Judges Report 2015

Past Winners

  • River Tees Barrage, the C2C Cyle Route
  • Hadrian's Wall Management Plan
  • Grainger Town
  • 1st Winner; 1986 Blyth Valley Council's Planning Committee Agenda


2014 Award Winners

Past awards


Awards; The Restoration of Stewart Park, Middlesbrough, Southern Green Ltd (Lead Consultant), Middlesbrough Council (Client), Craghead Environmental Improvement and Group Repair Scheme, Fairhurst (Lead Consultants) and Durham County Council), Winner of the 2013 Special Award, for the best example of Innovation in the Planning Process:  The Delivery of Simplified Planning in a Protected Environment, South East Northumberland, (Northumberland County Council), Commendations: The South Tyneside Local Development Framework (South Tyneside Council), The Redevelopment of Heworth Hall, Gateshead (George F. White LLP, Planning consultants, and Aspire Technology Solutions, The Student Forum, Newcastle University (Southern Green, Landscape Architects, and Newcastle University) 

Judges Report 2013


Awards: The Toffee Factory, Newcastle (xsite architecture), Developer Guidance Notes (Newcastle City Council), and Northumberlandia (Banks Group) (2012 Chair's Award for Rural Planning) Commendations: The Chapter House, All Saints Church, Cleadon (B3 Architecture) and Bolam Coyne (Newcastle City Council)

Judges Report 2012


Awards: Boho One and Bohouse (Middlesbrough Council) (Overall Winner) and St Nicholas Square, Newcastle upon Tyne (Robinson Landscape Design Ltd) (2011 Chairs Award for Urban Design) Commendations: The Courtyard, Preston Farm, Eaglescliffe (PF Developments), Durham Road Eco Homes (Gateshead Council) and Sunderland Seafront Regeneration (Sunderland City Council)


Awards: Distinctly Darlington Design of New Development Supplementary Planning Document (Darlington Borough Council) (Overall Winner) The Hub, Barnard Castle (Prism Planning, Teesdale Community Resources and Browne Smith Baker) (2010 Chairs Award forSustainability) Commendations: Virginia House, Newcastle upon Tyne (Newcastle City Council and Tyneside Cyrenians), Avondale Park, Gateshead (Gateshead Council) and Blyth Beach Chalets (IDPartnership-Northern)


Award: The Regeneration of St Jamess Church Hall, Alnwick (Isos Housing Ltd) and Berwick WorkSpace, Eldon Square Shopping Centre, Newcastle Phase 1 Redevelopment (Nathaniel Berwick upon Tweed (Northumberland County  Council) (Joint Winners) Commendation: Lichfield and Partners on behalf of Capital Shopping Centres)


Award: Cleadon Park Regeneration Scheme (South Tyneside Council and Isos Housing Ltd, on behalf of the Cleadon Park Community Partnership) Commendations: Sunniside Gardens (Sunderland City Council); Residents Urban Design Training (Gateshead Council and Planning Aid North); City Campus East (Northumbria University and Dickinson Dees LLP)


Award: Planning Education for Young People (Planning Aid North) Commendation: South Tyneside Local Development Framework (South Tyneside Council)


Award:The Greenhouse Eco Business Centre, Derwentside (entered by Groundwork West Durham)
Commendation: Phase 1, Ridley Park, Blyth (Blyth Riverside Regeneration)