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Best Plan Winner

Dunton Hills Garden Village Supplementary Planning Document entered by HTA Design LLP

The SPD for Brentwood's new garden village is underpinned by collaborative stakeholder
engagement and innovative co-design approaches, shaping a masterplan for up to 4,000 new homes. Integrated heritage and landscape principles ensure the delivery of a highly sustainable and beautiful village set in a historic landscape. It emphasises sustainable modes of transportation supports diverse housing, local amenities, and employment opportunities. Sustainable energy and low-carbon transport are paramount. Early infrastructure delivery and ongoing stakeholder engagement facilitate rapid, quality-driven development. The SPD's detailed guidance, rooted in continued co-design, garners support from landowners and stakeholders, ensuring a balanced approach between aspiration and deliverability.

Judges‘ comment: This well-prepared document, based on local engagement, showcases a commitment to sustainable development and community engagement. The team's approach is commendable, with a focus on sustainability and innovative methods of engagement. Notably, their commitment to fossil-fuel-free development and comprehensive relationship to multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) sets a high standard for urban planning initiatives. The Garden Village concept has been transformed into a locally-led planning document, demonstrating the team's dedication to consultation, engagement, and co-design approach. Their efforts have ensured that Dunton Hills will be well-planned from the outset, reflecting considerable work engaging residents, landowners, stakeholders, and technical experts.

Best Plan Commended

Central Bedfordshire Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document entered by Central Bedfordshire Council

The Design Guide SPD provides comprehensive guidance to deliver high quality design on every development in Central Bedfordshire, having a long-lasting impact for generations to come. The Design Guide was informed by significant engagement with communities and key stakeholders and responds to the increased emphasis being placed on design through the NPPF, being modelled on the chapters and themes of the National Design Guide. It sets out detailed principles and standards to ensure design is inclusive and resilient, and responds to the special characteristics of Central Bedfordshire.

Judges‘ comment: This comprehensive document demonstrates a strong vision and strategic approach encompassing many important housing topics. The document's inclusion of specific guidance on older persons' accommodation, Gypsy and Traveller sites, and new education facilities is particularly noteworthy. The project management, community engagement, and commitment to sustainable development are commendable. The Council's prudent approach to the project's pause during the local plan examination has resulted in a better outcome.