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Why should you enter the Awards?

Let's hear from our 2021 Award recipients:

Clyst Valley Regional Park Masterplan – Overall Winner of RTPI SW Awards for Planning Excellence 2021

We entered because we believed we had delivered some excellent work but we wanted that to be tested and the RTPI awards was the ideal vehicle. It is a huge boost to the team to receive the award. It gives the whole Regional Park further momentum, is likely to attract more interest and resource from existing and new partners, and increases our profile internally with members and planning officers.

Others should consider applying because it could increase their professional profile and even if you don’t win, the process of presenting forced us to reflect on what we’d done well, and what we could do better.
Simon Bates, East Devon District Council

Joint Winner of Planning Team of the Year in the RTPI SW Awards for Planning Excellence 2021

Given the last couple of years, the scale of adaption we have all had to make in delivering high quality services and the effort that goes in behind that, this year to acknowledge and celebrate the teams achievements we entered the RTPI South West Awards for Planning Excellence 2021. This was a unique opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months and all of the achievements, all of the obstacles that have been overcome and all the innovation that was put in place to adapt and continue to deliver services. For us as a Local Authority jointly winning this award has reinforced the importance and strength of what we do, working together to achieve great places. It is wonderful that the team have been acknowledged in this way boosting morale and pride in the work we do encouraging us to continue to challenge the norms and grow.

Dawn de Vries, Service Manager at Sedgemoor District Council

Torbay Heritage Strategy 2021 - 2026 Highly Commended in Excellence in Plan Making Practice in the  RTPI SW Awards for Planning Excellence 2021

We entered the awards because we felt genuinely proud of what we’d put together. Forming the link between the Planning Team and Torbay Culture meant we could approach a policy document in a new way and really try to be creative. We wanted to work creatively from the start, through positive stakeholder engagement and defining how the final document could be put together. We were really keen to avoid the standard approach which often feels necessary due to time and costs. Working collaboratively with HAP consultants and Torbay Culture enabled us to produce something unique based around stories. Creating a narrative really helped to bring the document to life and help make sense of over 800 responses to our consultation.

We are really pleased because this award recognises the collaborative approach and time taken to develop the strategy. The majority of the work took place from early 2020 and into 2021. The idea of reaching out to people felt even more important. From a Planning Team point of view, we felt the engagement was really meaningful and it enabled us to demonstrate we’d been through a rigorous process.

We felt we wanted to share the Strategy as a case of best practice. Entering the awards helped me re-assess the process we’d been through and help pave the way for a new approach to our policy documents. This recognition helps us promote more creative ways of working.

Jim Blackwell, Torbay Council

RTPI South West Young Planner of the Year 2021

A few people contacted me and said they either wanted to nominate me for the RTPI South West Region’s Young Planner of the Year or that they thought I should nominate myself. They’d noticed work I’d been doing like Virtual Insight Days with Speakers for Schools and the fully accessible consultation on the Dorset Council Local Plan. I was shocked as I thought I’d simply been doing my job but thought, why not put yourself forward? We need more recognition in planning as it’s easy to get bogged down by the negativity we receive about our work. To have our efforts recognised positively is essential to boost morale. This is why I nominated my colleague, Chris Lee. He is not only a well-rounded planner who takes everything in his stride and manages to deal with anything thrown at him, but he is also a fantastic team player, the best kind of colleague! It was only right to recognise his good work and attitude.

Simply being nominated was lovely and really boosted my confidence, but winning the RTPI South West Region’s Young Planner of the Year has presented me with the opportunity to speak up for the things I believe in. I’m now on the Regional Management Board for the South West, I’m being put forward for the National Awards (terrifying), and I’ve been invited to speak at other authorities and plenty of schools. Having lived in many areas of the UK, working predominantly in schools, I’ve seen some of the inequalities that remain in our society, and how this can impact on a person’s options throughout their lives. These experiences drive me to seek social equality which underpins all my work. Having opportunities to speak up and try and inspire others to also strive for social equality is exciting.

Frances Summers, Senior Planning Policy Officer at Dorset Council