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Excellence in Plan Making Practice

Excellence in Plan Making Practice  

This category recognises submissions which demonstrate excellent practice in plan making, influencing decisions or shaping designs. This can include any development plan, supplementary planning guidance (SPG), masterplans, strategies etc. If submitting a local plan please outline through your submission how the local plan was unique and went above and beyond. Other examples of plan making practice, such as neighbourhood plans, supplementary planning documents and strategies are also welcome, so long as they can demonstrate clear outcomes. You may wish to focus on a particular aspect of the plan, or the methodology in developing it. 


Plans adopted in the two years prior to 1 January 2024 are eligible for entry. Particular care should be taken to avoid entering plans prematurely before they can be satisfactorily assessed against all the judging criteria and other submissions. You may submit an entry into more than one category, but we do ask that you provide an entry form for each category. 

Projects or Plans that have 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 adopted plan: 
    made a positive impact on the local economy? 
  • made improvements for specific groups e.g. people with physical disabilities, families, young people, Black, South and East Asian and ethnic minority communities? 
  • addressed issues of gender and inequality e.g. safety in public realm? 
  • addressed issues of inequality? 

Outcomes for climate action: 

  • Evidence of successful post completion action e.g. how scheme uses energy efficiency 
  • Evidence of successful action taken in delivering the adopted plan to address resilience and mitigation against climate change e.g. carbon footprint of delivery, offsetting, waste disposal, material selection. 
  • What targets did the scheme have for climate change and have those been met or exceeded? 

Outcomes for sustainable development: 

Planning contribution: 

  • The centrality of a planning practioner(s) to the development of the plan. 

Community engagement: 

  • How did you engage with local communities? 
  • How did this engagement affect the plan development? 
  • 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 it delivered on time 
  • Is an exemplar that is transferable across the UK and Ireland 

 The criteria and guidance for each category can be found after creating an account and adding categories to your basket via our entry platform. 

View the other categories here. 

If you have any questions, please view our FAQs.