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Best Plan of the Year Winner

Statement of Community Involvement
Entered by Bolsover District Council

This submission demonstrates a local planning authority seeking to implement best practice in terms of community engagement in its planning documents and seek to overcome barriers to people knowing about planning proposals. Statements of Community Involvement remain a requirement for local authorities - however too often they do not include any real commitment to ensuring there is adequate community involvement in the planning process. 

Judges‘ comment: The work has been undertaken internally and is based on the admirable professional desire of local planners at the Council to improve their own practice and genuinely involve more people in the planning process."   


Best Plan of the Year Commended

Derbyshire Climate Change and Planning Joint Approach
Entered by Derbyshire County Council

The Derbyshire Climate Change and Planning Joint Approach is considered to be an exemplar approach to joint working on climate change mitigation and adaptation through the planning process across a large and complex geography in Derby and Derbyshire that includes one County Council, one City Council, seven District and Borough Council and the Peak District National Park Authority. Its three main workstreams are aimed at providing the constituent authorities with the evidence base and planning guidance to inform the preparation of the Local Plan Reviews and the development of a consistent and effective policy approach across the County.

Judges‘ comment: “Example of collaborative partnership working. Those involved are to be congratulated for providing leadership and for adopting an innovative approach."


Small Planning Consultancy of the Year Winner

Aspbury Planning Ltd


Aspbury Planning is a highly experienced Nottingham-based planning consultancy with over 40 years of practice specialising in a range of planning sectors including residential, commercial, retail, agricultural and industrial development. APL has technical expertise and experience in all matters associated with building conservation and heritage, the housebuilding industry and development control management. The Team prides itself on their ability to integrate industry experience and expertise with enthusiasm and commitment to achieve positive outcomes for Clients, which include housebuilders, private individuals, businesses, charitable organisations, Estates and Local Planning Authorities. 

Judges‘ comment: " A deserving win for Team Aspbury. Aspbury Planning are a long standing contributor to Planning excellence in our region recognised for their expertise in their field of work and nurturing forward-thinking Planners who strive to get the best possible outcome for Clients whilst shaping the places of tomorrow.”


Best Project of the Year Winner

Beeston Goods Yard

Entered by ilke Homes

 ilke Homes is a modular housing company helping to tackle the UK’s growing housing shortage by delivering high-quality, energy-efficient homes in half the time of traditional methods.  The Beeston Goods Yard development saw ilke Homes working in partnership with East Midlands Housing Association (EMHA), Network Rail and Broxtowe Borough Council to deliver a 42 unit affordable-led modular housing scheme on the former Beeston railway goods yard.

Judges‘ comment: “Deserving winners for innovation. This is an important modular housing project directly addressing climate change and affordable housing. The deal was Network Rail’s first in modular housing and was part of its strategy to release under-utilised land for development, with profits reinvested in the rail network."

Best Project of the Year Commended

The Vale of Belvoir Natural Burial Ground

Entered by Fisher German

A rare farm diversification project, led by Fisher German, involving the change of use of arable land in the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire, to a sustainable natural burial ground which will provide long-term conversation of a sentimental site in the local community. The ethos of sustainability, with everything returning to the soil, was the primary objective pervading all aspects of the development, with substantial focus on promoting the environmental and community benefits of natural burial as an alternative to conventional burial and cremation methods. This is a leading example of planning for the natural environment in rural communities. 

Judges‘ comment:An excellent example of farm diversification. This was a project involving the change of use of arable land to a natural burial ground, providing a sustainable alternative to conventional burial methods and a worthy prize winner.”


Young Planner of the Year Winner

Sam Pepper

Over the course of his career to date, Sam has shown a keen ability to understand and promote planning applications and appeals, contributing to the success of a range of schemes across the East Midlands region. Sam has stepped up to the plate when opportunities to develop his skills have presented themselves, and has also sought to develop his other interests in the built environment over his career to date. Sam continues to be involved in passing on his skills to younger planners through mentoring and contributions to the activities of the East Midlands Young Planners.

Judges‘ comment: Sam is a highly motivated, enthusiastic and committed planner who has gained a wealth of experience during his early career in the industry and should be commended for his role as mentor to younger members of staff. A deserving winner”   


Local Authority of the Year Winner

Blaby District Council

Blaby District Council, in the heart of Leicestershire, is an ambitious and respected authority committed to putting the customer at the heart of everything. We have ambitious plans for growth but at the same time ensure that essential services, which are so important to our residents, are prioritised and resourced. We have a strong reputation for delivery and partnership working, in addition to having received local and national recognition for our Planning & Strategic Growth service. Our staff feel supported and valued and regularly talk about the 'Blaby Way'.

Judges‘ comment: "Blaby District Council, in the heart of Leicestershire, is an ambitious and respected authority committed to putting the customer at the heart of everything A deserving win for Team Blaby.”