2012 Wales Planning Award
The 2012 Wales Planning Award, sponsored by Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, was announced at the RTPI Cymru Annual Dinner in Cardiff on 16 November. The Judging Panel, Jon Fox, Chris Fray and Huw Evans, were unanimous in their decision and to ensure that the result reflects the quality of the submissions made, the Judges awarded three Commendations, in addition to the overall winner.
The 2012 Award was presented to Bargoed Library, submitted by Caerphilly County Borough Council. The Judges were all equally impressed by how a heritage building had been brought back to life as a hub for the community and how seven floors of diverse activity had been brought together on one site. The Judges commented on how the facility serves both the community and town centre, generating activity, footfall and providing reasons to visit that aren't linked to spend but about community and meeting people. They also applauded the way the project had been comprehensively planned, sitting within a strategy to breathe new life into a town centre, linking the old town with a major new development plateau.
In the Commended Cardiff Strategic Cycle Network, submitted by Cardiff Council, the judges acknowledged the importance of stakeholder engagement and the use of innovative techniques and the role of the planner in transportation projects and how these can be improved when sound planning principles are applied to bring forward a successful strategy and action plan. They also reflected on the dedication and enthusiasm of Cardiff Council's in-house team and the potential it offered for a template of best practice for the forthcoming Active Travel (Wales) Bill.
The Royal College of Music and Drama, submitted by Cardiff Council, also Commended, offered a good example of development management in practice, with the lead planner working with promoters of an ambitious project and securing a high quality outcome. The enthusiasm of all parties to secure this new development was acknowledged, as were the benefits of the arts maintaining a strong presence in the perceptions of Cardiff and Wales, demonstrating the importance of arts in regeneration.
In a further Commended scheme, the Judges commented on the level of ambition involved in achieving the Wales Coast Path, submitted by the Countryside Council for Wales. The Judges highlighted the national importance of the project and the role of planners in the component projects. They also commented on the support received from a wide range of organisations and bodies coming together to make the project happen.
The Judges continue to be impressed by the value that planners bring to communities across Wales, and the benefits of a planned approach to creating successful outcomes.
Wales Planning Award 2011
igloo Regenerations Porth Teigr submitted by WYG Planning & Design, was the winning scheme in 2011. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council's Gurnos town centre regeneration was Highly Commended and the Judges also Commended the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Llantwit Major Town Centre Regeneration scheme and the RCT Homes and Hyder Consulting Open Space scheme. The Wales Planning Award 2011 was sponsored by Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners.