Skip to main content
Close Menu Open Menu

Local Planning Authority of the Year 2024


South Gloucestershire Council

South Gloucestershire is a fast paced forward-thinking Authority always striving to improve and develop. They act on feedback to achieve positive change and enhancements. The Authority recently determined one of the largest planning applications in the South West, the redevelopment of the former Filton Airfield working with YTL to deliver 6,500 dwellings. Team South Glos work together to deliver the right homes in the right places with the environment at the heart of all decisions. The team are excited about the future and their ability to continually improve the district for our residents, visitors and guests.

Image credit: Karen Lucas, South Gloucestershire Council

In selecting this entry as winner the judges were impressed with the way in which the Council identified a number of performance issues, implemented a series of management and staff development interventions and secured service improvements, effective monitoring and reporting arrangements, the publication of staff newsletters as well as increased/broadened communication with agents and other customers.  Judges also noted that the Council is engaged in the Town Planning Degree-level apprenticeship scheme and supports those early-stage career officers obtaining the training and qualifications required. The commitment to ‘growing your own’ and investing in their team is impressive. Service improvements across the team were well evidenced, including a number of internal and third-party testimonials.



Dorset Council

Dorset Council is one of the largest authorities in the country and came into existence on 1 April 2019. The planning service has combined 6 former authorities into one and is on a journey to create a new way of working that reflects the geography of the young Authority, in effect to deliver the best outcomes needed for a sustainable future which address the critical climate and ecological challenges, build resilient places that can adapt to climate change, and meet the pressing needs of society. The Planning and Transformation Project aims to create the framework to realise this.  

Image: Image of Discovery workshop for planning convergence and transformation project

The judges were impressed with the “root and branch” scope of service delivery and the high aspirational self-imposed targets linked to the creation of their new Unitary Authority status.  The business like submission demonstrated a professional, progressive and ambitious Authority finding its way by working as a One Team and embracing operational efficiency systems and technology to release quality time to service delivery.Clear support for planning professionals including collaboration with other professions was also to be applauded.


Mid Devon District Council

The planning team at Mid Devon are a family of inspiring people that work hard to look out for each other as well as ensure delivery of an outstanding customer service. The team deserves recognition being a service that delivers on passion, creativity, inclusivity and heart. The team have come so far over the last few years and are now one of the top performing Local Planning Authorities in the South West and consistently deliver on target. With health and wellbeing a top priority, this team is a beacon of light in leading the way for the future.  

Image credit: Angharad Williams, Mid Devon DC

The judges were impressed with the way the Authority appeared to devote time and energies into its staff first. – described as a “family approach”. This demonstrated collaborative working to identify issues and find solutions. Reference to Dementia Friendly design guidance was also noted.