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We're delighted to announce the results of the South West for the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2022 

JONATHAN BELL, the Head of Development Planning at Plymouth City Council, has been declared as 'Best in Region' of the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2022 in the South West but also as South West Head Planner of the Year 2022

The nomination stated that “Jonathan Bell is the best strategic thinker in Plymouth City Council. He has personally led a number of award-winning initiatives that have pushed the boundaries of creativity and innovation in how planning can help improve people’s lives and create great places. Jonathan has a keen philosophy for planning which embraces personal championing of quality outcomes. Jonathan is an incredibly caring and thoughtful manager, always looking for positive outcomes for staff, the council and the city. Never afraid to take on new challenges, Jonathan embraces the opportunity to think differently and creatively, providing opportunities for his team to shape new ideas”.

In judging Jonathan Bell as the ‘South West Head Planner of the Year 2022, the Judges Panel was impressed with the following:

  • His enthusiasm and positivity in relating how he had faced and tackled substantial challenges during his work with Plymouth City Council in particular his recent leadership on the corporate Plymouth Plan, the Climate Emergency Strategy and the Plymouth and South West Devon Local Plan.
  • The clear evidence that he had, and was continuing to have, a key role in the development and implementation of corporate policies and initiatives across the City Council with ‘planning’ at the core.
  • His priority in maintaining productive relationships with stakeholders, communities and elected members.
  • Boundaries of creativity and innovation have and are currently being pushed by him with an eye to learning lessons and continuous improvement – not just for himself but for his colleagues, the City Council and the wider community.
  • In summary, the Judging Panel concluded that Jonathan is a credit to the planning profession.

Congratulations to Jonathan as the first individual planner in the 30 years of the regional competition to be judged as the overall winner of the RTPI South West Awards for Planning Excellence.


The results are as follows: