The East Midlands Regional Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate projects, plans and people who have helped create exceptional places and improved the lives of those who live and work here; highlighting how planning and planners work to create a safe, healthy and sustainable future for all of us.
Take a look a the video from the awards ceremony:
This category recognises submissions which demonstrate excellent practice in plan making. For example, this can include both local plans and masterplans.
The WINNER of the RTPI East Midlands Award for Plan Making Practice 2021 goes to Nottingham City Council for the Nottingham Design Quality Framework. Led by Laura Alvarez, Senior Principal Urban Design and Conservation Officer East Midlands Convener for the Urban Design Group the Design Quality Framework is a series of design guides and quality evaluation tools that aim to address design quality issues by giving applicants and designers information and certainty at an early stage during the plan-making process to help them create exemplar places where the citizens of Nottingham want to live.
The Design Quality Framework platform and its tools are accessible to all, free of jargon, simple and easy to follow and apply.
The framework works in a flexible format in order to respond to the challenges of our fast changing world, and through it the Council offers community engagement training and support, and has a range of ideas and examples available.
Chris McKinney, Senior Planner Bolsover District Council and RTPI East Midlands RMB/RAC Committee Member exclaimed:
"In judging this entry as the winner I felt that this submission demonstrated Nottingham City Council’s ambition to champion community design and ensure that in addition to all the usual ‘insider stakeholders’ there would be meaningful engagement from the communities that will live and work in the places the planning system helps to create. From the conception of this project, Nottingham City Council demonstrated a keenness to learn from an audit of past planning decisions and then use this evidence to reshape and improve its approach to design. Drawing on its excellent involvement of Nottingham’s communities in the preparation of its design guides, this approach has seen a growing series of guides under the Nottingham Design Quality Framework banner that now include current policy hot topics such as Carbon Neutral Design and Designing for Wellbeing. Based on this clearly demonstrated excellence and example of leading practice, I can confirm that the Nottingham Design Quality Framework is awarded this year's East Midlands Award for Excellence in Plan Making Practice."
In the category of Awards for Excellence in Plan Making Practice we looked for the entries to demonstrate, outstanding best practice, innovative thinking, high levels of community engagement and ability to deliver significant benefits to the environment, economy and community.
The HIGHLY COMMENDED RTPI East Midlands Award for Excellence in Plan Making Practice is Nottinghamshire County Council for the Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan.
Nottinghamshire County Council planning policy team prepared a new Minerals Plan very promptly following the withdrawal of their Plan from examination in 2017. Following publication in 2019, the Plan was submitted for examination in February 2020. And in light of Covid-19 pandemic, the hearing sessions were delayed, but the team responded positively to the opportunity to hold the hearings via Microsoft Teams, broadcast live via YouTube and they were one of the first authorities to do this with the support of the Planning Inspectorate. The hearings were held in October 2020 and following the Inspectors Report, the Plan was adopted in March 2021.
Judging the award Chris McKinney, Principal Planner at Bolsover District Council and RTPI East Midlands RMB/RAC Committee Member explained ‘’The plan demonstrates a remarkable turn-around in relation to the preparation of a Minerals Local Plan, that was clearly built on the professionalism of Nottinghamshire County Council’s planning team. Nottinghamshire’s planning team should take great heart from demonstrating how East Midland planners can deliver swift plan making within the current planning legislative framework’. The winning key aspect was imaginative techniques."
Click here to read the full adopted Plan
This category recognises projects or schemes - including developments, physical buildings or structures etc, which should be totally or substantially completed on the ground.
This year's Award for Excellence in Planning Delivery (Projects) – HIGHLY COMMENDED is awarded to Planning and Design Practice Ltd for the Ambergate Social Club Redevelopment at Chase Farm in Derbyshire.
The Chase Farm proposals consisted of the sensitive redevelopment of a brownfield site in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The site, formally comprised of a derelict social club, together with two 19th century cottages and agricultural barn, but the whole site had been neglected for a number of years and the buildings were rapidly degrading. The new development comprised a single detached dwelling on the footprint of the old social club, a terrace of 3 dwellings, and the conversion of the barn. Completed in June 2021, the development is now an asset to the World Heritage Site having delivered 8 well designed high quality family homes on a brownfield site and in a highly sustainable location.
Judging this category was Team Manager, Planning Policy, Stephen Pointer from Nottinghamshire County Council who said "The proposals overcame various design and environmental constraints, and for me the winning key aspect of the scheme was the creative approach to securing planning permission within the Heritage Site. This project is interesting and clearly presented some planning challenges which were positively overcome and resulted in a very attractive scheme in a world renowned heritage setting. My congratulations to everyone involved in the delivery of this project".
To read more about this scheme click here
This award seeks out the brightest RTPI members in the early stages of their careers. Potential candidates can work in any area of the planning profession. We are looking for outstanding Young Planners who can demonstrate a contribution to planning or significant career achievements in recent years. Through this award, we want to celebrate the future leaders of our profession.
On RTPI Young Planners, current RTPI Young Planner of the Year, Ryan Walker says "Young planners are at the heart of shaping futures. They're the generation of a time when planning for climate change, health and inclusivity are at the heart of what we need to aspire to. Their ideas, motivation, creativity, are what the RTPI want to showcase through these awards and I ask everyone to consider nominating their colleagues in the future. Now, this award seeks out the brightest RTPI members in the early stages of their careers. Potential candidates can work in any area within the industry and we are looking for outstanding young planners who can demonstrate a contribution to planning or significant career achievements in recent years. Entrants can nominate themselves or can be nominated by an employer, a colleague or a peer."
And this year's East Midlands Young Planner of the Year WINNER is Jessica Herritty, of Oxalis Planning.
Judge Stephen Pointer, Team Manager, Planning Policy at Nottinghamshire County Council said "In assessing nominations for the RTPI East Midlands Young Planner of the Year I was looking for someone who'd made a significant contribution to planning, demonstrated career achievements and had a strong commitment to the profession. At the time of entry Jessica was a Senior Planner at Aspbury Planning in Nottingham. She has a diverse planning experience, ranging from large and small-scale residential development, strategic land promotion, to commercial, retail and agricultural developments. In addition to her day-today work, Jessica provides support to junior members of the team and is an enthusiastic Co-Chair of the Women in Planning East Midlands Committee and co-lead of the Women in Planning Mentoring Working Group, responsible for launching the first Women in Planning Mentoring Scheme nationally. Jessica is now Principal Planner at Oxalis Planning. She is a hard working and reliable professional with a positive attitude towards clients and fellow team members. She has shown a high level of commitment to her own and others professional development, being active in Women in Planning and acting as a role model for other young planners. Jessica is leading by example and promoting her own and others professional development through mentoring. She has shown enthusiasm and originality in promoting Women in Planning."
Read more about Jessica here: