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Innovative Cambridge housing scheme wins top prize at RTPI Awards 2020

Cambridge’s first ‘co-housing’ scheme has been crowned overall winner at this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence, the longest running and most coveted awards in the UK planning sector.

In awarding the prestigious Silver Jubilee Cup to Marmalade Lane, submitted by Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service and development company TOWN, the judges said that the development demonstrated the value of community-led housing and a collaborative approach to planning.

Residents at the Marmalade Lane co-housing development, winner of the RTPI Silver Jubilee Cup 2020 (image credit: David Butler)

Due to the ongoing lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the winners of the Silver Jubilee Cup and other categories were announced live this year in a virtual ceremony hosted on YouTube.

RTPI President Sue Manns said: “Congratulations to TOWN and Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service, whose Marmalade Lane development is a worthy winner of this year’s RTPI Silver Jubilee Cup. Planners were central to this innovative scheme which puts community at its heart.  A well designed and attractive place has been created which puts the needs of the user at its centre. The development highlights both best practice and the benefits that can come from thinking outside the box.”

Marmalade Lane, which also won in the Small Housing Schemes and Health and Wellbeing categories, features 42 houses and apartments collaboratively planned by an integrated team including residents, architects and developers.

Judges said that the development was a ‘distinctive and sustainable’ neighbourhood full of character and vitality and drew particular attention to the road after which the development is named which serves as a community space for play and socialising.

Sadie Morgan, design industry leader and Chair of the judging panel, said: “Marmalade Lane shows the importance in new housing developments of greater local participation, increased opportunities for accessing nature and the prioritisation of people over cars – its design has helped create a place with a genuine sense of belonging and a rich local culture that harnesses the humour and warmth that are so vital in these challenging times.”

The RTPI would like to thank AECOM and Savills, the headline sponsors of the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2020, as well as all the category sponsors for their continued support and positive approach to the digitally enabled transformation of this year’s ceremony.

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