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Excellence in Planning for Communities (large schemes of 50 or more)

Excellence in Planning for Communities (large schemes of 50 or more) 

Excellence in Planning for Communities (large schemes of 50 or more) category recognises projects which include over 50 homes. Projects can integrate into the surrounding context or be a new development in their own right. The projects must meet local needs and be in locations that have access to infrastructure and facilities for communities. They should also offer a range of tenures and demonstrate the high-quality design of buildings and place.


Projects completed in the two years prior to 1 June 2021 are eligible for entry, even if the planning component was completed years prior. Care should be taken to avoid entering schemes prematurely before they can be satisfactorily assessed. We recommend projects are completed or sufficiently completed in order to be assessed fully against all the judging criteria and other submissions. You may enter a project into more than one category, but we do ask that you provide an entry form for each category. Projects or work that has previously won an RTPI Award for Planning Excellence may not be re-entered in the same category, but those shortlisted or commended may be re-entered. 

Judging criteria

Judges will be asked to assess schemes on the following criteria:

Outcomes for people and communities:

  • How has the scheme improved/made a positive impact on the local economy?
  • How has the scheme made improvements for specific groups e.g., people with physical disabilities, families, young people, Black, South and East Asian and ethnic minority communities?
  • How has the scheme made a positive impact on health and wellbeing e.g., solved problems/challenges with access to open space?
  • How has the scheme addressed issues of gender mainstreaming e.g., safety in the public realm?
  • How has the scheme addressed any issues of inequality?

Outcomes for climate action:

  • How has the project, as completed, mitigated against climate change?
  • How did the project (in delivery) mitigate against climate change?
  • What targets did the scheme have for climate change and have those been met or exceeded?

Outcomes for sustainable development:

  • How does the project meet UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Planning contribution:

  • The centrality of a planning practitioner(s) to the project
  • How planning tools have been used to deliver positively

Community engagement:

  • How did the scheme engage with local communities?
  • How that engagement affected the final scheme delivery?
  • How inclusive was the community engagement?

Leading practice:

  • Value for money
  • Complexity of the brief/degree of difficulty and creative and innovative response to the brief
  • Timetable – was scheme delivered on time
  • Is an exemplar that is transferable across the UK and Ireland

If you have any questions, please view our FAQs.