RTPI President John Acres’ visit to the south west region continued last week, alongside RTPI Chief Executive Officer, Victoria Hills. They saw the results of award-winning projects and celebrated planning excellence in the region.
The duo visited Situ8, winner of the Small Consultancy Category in the RTPI Awards for Excellence, based in St Austell, Cornwall.
Whilst in Cornwall, they also saw the breath-taking Eco Communities project which will offer up to 5000 homes, as well as new jobs, solar generation, infrastructure, and community facilities. Most critically, the initial phase of the scheme involves 1500 new homes of which 30% will be affordable.
In Devon, Mr Acres and Ms Hills visited the award-winning team at Plymouth City Council who won the top prize in the Large Housing Category in the RTPI Awards for Excellence. The self-build affordable housing scheme at Nelsons Project in Stonehouse provides homes for 24 people, half of them former homeless veterans who all helped to build the flats they now occupy. The scheme is a lesson in partnership working.
Mr Acres said: “The quality of workmanship and satisfaction of the occupiers is a testament to the project and, more importantly, most of the former unemployed veterans are now in full time jobs.”
The President and Chief Executive continued their visit and met Teignbridge District Council’s Planning Team and their Portfolio Holder at Newton Abbot, Devon. The Council received commendation in the ‘Local Authority of the Year’ Category in the Awards for Achievement.
Speaking of the quality of their work, Mr Acres said: “Teignbridge clearly displays many of the hallmarks of a well performing authority – offering a warm welcome, a highly motivated and enthusiastic team, a positive attitude to change and a strong performance in all areas.”
The President and CEO’s visits highlighted planning talent in south west England, across both large councils and smaller consultancies. “We had an encouraging message that good planning practice is alive and well in the south-west of England,” said the President.