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The RTPI celebrates 50 years of New Towns in the North

23 October 2014

The RTPI President, Cath Ranson journeyed to the North West and North East regions in the first half of October. As part of the visits she celebrated two New Towns that both shared 50 year anniversaries.

During her trip to the North West Region, Cath Ranson took the opportunity to see and hear about Runcorn New Town, fifty years after its official designation. She was accompanied by Colin Haylock, past President of the RTPI. As guests of Halton Borough Council (HBC), Cath learnt how the New Town had set the standard for the successful and continuing regeneration of Runcorn and Widnes, taking full advantage of their proximity to both Liverpool and Manchester.

As part of the visit, Cath discussed the Mersey Gateway Project with local planners. Initial groundworks have commenced for the project. Cath also visited some of the short-listed sites for the RTPI Regional Awards for Planning Excellence, the winner of which was The Witham Hall, Bernard Castle.

The image below shows the RTPI President presenting the RTPI New Town Centenary certificate, celebrating the contribution made by Runcorn to the evolution of the science & art of planning. The certificate was presented to the Mayor of Halton, Councillor Shaun Osborne. 

Pictured below (left to right): Nathan Renison, Regeneration Officer (HBC); Colin Haylock; Mick Noone, Operational Director – Policy, Planning and Highways (HBC); Joanne Harding, Principal Spatial Planning Officer (HBC); Cath Ranson; The Mayor of Halton, Councillor Shaun Osborne; Councillor Dave Cargill, Lead Member for Runcorn New Town 50th; and, Wesley Rourke, Operational Director – Economy, Enterprise an Property.

Presidential Runcorn NT Oct 2014


Sunderland City Council reported on the visit of the RTPI President in respect of their 50 years anniversary of Washington New Town. Cath Ranson presented the special certificate to Councillor Harry Trueman, the Council’s deputy leader at a photographic exhibition currently on show at The Arts Centre, Washington, entitled, ‘Washington 50, a Snapshot of your New Town’.

Cath Ranson said: “Special Certificates have been presented to New Towns across the UK by the RTPI as part of our 100 year anniversary, to acknowledge their contribution to planning and their coming of age. The New Towns were built as part of an ambitious post-war house building plan. Washington is a successful example of the New Town concept, which aimed to achieve sustainable socio-economic growth.”

Councillor Trueman said: "It has been very important to celebrate this historic milestone and this event is a very welcome part of a year of much wider celebration across the new town.

Information about the New Towns and how they have played a part in our celebrations can be found here

The Washington New Town presentation (Left to right): Cllr and Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Harry Trueman, RTPI NE Chair, Stephen Litherland and RTPI President, Cath Ranson