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Past awards

2018 Yorkshire Awards for Planning Excellence

RTPI 2018 Yorkshire Awards Reception and Keynote Address

  • Thursday 13 September 2018

  • Sheffield Town Hall

  • Keynote address delivered by Greg Marsden, Professor of Transport Governance at the University of Leeds


Yorkshire awardsHull City Council has won Yorkshire's top planning award for its vision and expertise in delivering Siemen's new offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing, assembly and servicing facilities at the city's Alexandra Port.

The project, the centrepiece of the Green Port Hull vision to establish Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire as a world class centre for renewable energy, has won the top prize at the 2018 Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Yorkshire's Planning Excellence Award.

Jennifer Winyard, Chair of RTPI Yorkshire judging panel, said:

"This is a prime example where planners play a vital role in securing long-term sustainable economic growth and employment for the region. The project scores high on having a strong, coherent vision as well as a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach that ensures effective delivery of the complex project itself and allows wider social and environmental benefits to flow from it for many years to come.

"The Green Port Hull project promises major opportunities in biofuels, waste to energy, wave and tidal power generation, and it is planners who are uniquely placed to help harness this huge potential."

Planners at Hull City Council and East Riding Council are proactively looking at strategic land and property sites in the port of Hull area to attract renewable energy sector businesses looking to relocate to the region.

These vary from sites for major manufacturing facilities; business parks; operations and maintenance centres servicing the renewable energy cluster; design and build opportunities; and storage land.

Yorkshire awards_3

Halifax Piece Hall highly commended

Judges have also highly commended the restoration of The Piece Hall, a Grade I-listed, monumental building in Halifax town centre. It is the only surviving intact cloth hall in the UK and an iconic reminder of Halifax's once pivotal position at the centre of the world's woollen trade.

The transformation of the building and nearby public space demonstrated "a range of planning skills and exemplary design, enhancing the town's identity and attraction as a tourism and employment destination", according to the judges.

Other commended projects

To find out more about our Yorkshire awards, sponsorship or exhibitions, please contact Yorkshire Regional Coordinator Sarah Richardson at or phone 020 7929 8192.

Our 2017 Winner:

Sheffield City Council for 'Stuck Sites'


Sheffield City Council Win For 'Stuck Sites ' RTPI Yorkshire Awards

RTPI Yorkshire Chair with Sheffield City Council winners John Baker and John Stonard, and RTPI President Stephen Wilkinson.


Jennifer Winyard, Chair of the judging panel, said:

This is an outstanding project that shows what local planners can achieve with the creative use of existing powers and with their own tenacity, expertise and skill. In bringing otherwise difficult opportunities forward, not only have they brought new life to run down places, but increased a vital supply of homes on brownfield sites.  

"The project has delivered positive change through proactive engagement with land and property owners, and helped to change their attitudes towards maintenance without resorting to legal or enforcement action.

"It is good to see planning enforcement, an important but often negatively perceived function, to be able to secure crucial funding from the Council and shape the lives of local communities in such a positive way."

The award was presented by Stephen Wilkinson, President of the RTPI, at RTPI Yorkshire's Annual Lecture and Reception held at the Guildhalll in Hull on 14 September 2017.


Integreat Plus

Cottingham Neighbourhood Plan

This is a high quality and comprehensive Neighbourhood Plan, containing an impressive amount of professional input, including a Design Guide, and Development Principles for allocated sites, and it is clear that significant efforts have been expended in consulting with, and ensuring participation by, local people. This process has resulted in an outstanding example of neighbourhood planning, in which the content can be shown to have been derived from local needs and aspirations.  It should be regarded as a level to which other neighbourhood plans should aspire.

Other Shortlisted entries

Arup and Leeds City Council

Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme

Keepmoat Homes

The Halton Moor and Seacroft Leeds Brownfield Programme

Spawforths and Wakefield Council

Wakefield Eastern Relief Road (WERR)

WYG and Keepmoat

Leeds Housing Regeneration Project

Yorkshire Water and Arup

Bransholme Surface Water Pumping Station (BSWPS)

RTPI National Awards for Planning Excellence 2017


Congratulations to the winners from the Yorkshire Region:

Local Authority Planning Team of the Year

  • North East Lincolnshire Council / Engie Regeneration Partnership

Excellence in Planning to Deliver Housing

  • Stuck Sites - submitted by Planning Service, Sheffield City Council (commendation)

Find out more

RTPI Yorkshire Award for Planning Excellence 2016

RTPI Yorkshire Awards


Congratulations to the 2016 Winner:

The Environment Agency and Arup for the Skipton Flood Alleviation Scheme 




The Skipton Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) was developed by engineering firm Ove Arup and the Environment Agency after Skipton suffered from serious flooding events in recent history.

Award winner imageThe scheme involves the building of two flood storage reservoirs on Eller Beck and Walter Hill Beck, and the installation of floodwalls in the town centre.

Image: Skipton Flood Alleviation Scheme: Waller Hill Beck Flood Storage Reservoir, view looking east. Photo credit: Shoreside Aerial

Jennifer Winyard, Chair of the judging panel, said:

"In light of increasing flood risk in residential areas, the project delivers vitally important infrastructure that will provide real benefit to local communities in Skipton for years to come.  The judges were particularly impressed by the quality of the technical planning input and the effective management of the scheme through a complex planning regime.

"The Skipton FAS is a beacon of chartered town planning and is testament to how the profession can lead engineers, surveyors, hydrologists and architects to create transformative solutions.  It illustrates how community engagement and open communications with Local Planning Authorities can unify stakeholders and it highlights the capabilities of planners in delivering high-quality solutions."

The award was presented by Phil Williams, President of the RTPI, at RTPI Yorkshire's Annual Lecture and Reception at the Civic Hall in Leeds held on 28th July 2016.

Award winners


Receiving the award are, from l-r: Emma Morrish (Environment Agency), Jenny Cooke (Environment Agency), Laura Marchant (Arup). Photo credit: Ravage Productions   



Speaking about the announcement, Phil Crabtree, RTPI Yorkshire Chair, said:

"I would like to thank and congratulate the Winner and all those projects that entered the Royal Town Planning Institute Yorkshire Planning in Excellence Award 2016. The standard of the submitted projects highlights the important contribution planning and planners make in delivering high quality, innovative solutions.

"This year's winner showcases the important role planners play in coordinating multi-disciplinary teams and delivering complex projects – the scheme will bring about a real solution to an increasing problem and meet the needs of the community for years to come. Not only does it make a major contribution to reduce the possibility of flooding in Skipton, it has been sensitively designed to fit in with the surrounding environment." 

Shortlisted entries were:

  • Arup for Princes Quay Bridge, Hull
  • Aspinall Verdi for Belle Vue/St John's Road, Leeds
  • North East Lincolnshire Council in partnership with ENGIE for Freeman Street Regeneration, Grimsby
  • North York Moors National Park Authority for Allum Drive Affordable Housing Scheme, Sleights
  • Quod for Holy Trinity Church Transformation Project, Hull

RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2015

The RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award celebrates and recognises the high quality planning work done in the Region.

There is a particular emphasis on projects that show originality, regional significance and leadership.

Our 2015 Awards were presented by the RTPI President, Janet Askew, at the RTPI Yorkshire Lecture and Reception held on 23 July 2015 in the Banqueting Suite at the Civic Hall in Leeds.

2015 Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2015:

The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council for the Saltaire World Heritage Site Management Plan


Salts Mill frontage - Grade 2* Listed

Bradford Council's entry was judged on issues such as sustainable development, good practice, community involvement and planning content. The Plan was approved by Bradford Council's Executive Committee in December 2014 and by the Government and UNESCO earlier this year. The council is working towards all the Plan's projects and goals for improvements for Saltaire in the short-term and up to 30 years ahead.

2015 Award presentationCouncillor Val Slater and Julian Jackson, Assistant Director, Planning, Transportation and Highways, City of Bradford MDC, receiving the winners Trophy and Certificate from RTPI President Janet Askew. 

Photo credit: Duncan Lomax, Ravage Productions



Jennifer Winyard, Chair, RTPI Yorkshire, said:

"I would like to warmly congratulate Bradford Council on winning the RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2015 for the Management Plan for the world heritage site of Saltaire. The judges' consideration that the Plan balances international heritage protection with benefits for regional tourism, local businesses and residents, is one with which I fully concur."

Janet Askew, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), said:

"Many congratulations to the Saltaire World Heritage Site. I was also able to visit Bradford this week to see for myself the imaginative planning that is transforming major areas of the town. I was very impressed with the enormous work undertaken by the planning department and by the scope of the ambition of the council. Bradford is an impressive example of a town which has a determined approach to regeneration and to improvements to the city centre and other areas."

Cllr Val Slater, Bradford Council's Heritage Champion said:

"The Saltaire World Heritage Site includes a dynamic modern community as well as hugely important historical site. Winning this award demonstrates the quality of the work being done to manage this prestigious World Heritage Site for the people of Saltaire, and visitors from near and far."

The Saltaire World Heritage Site includes a dynamic modern community as well as hugely important historical site. Winning this award demonstrates the quality of the work being done to manage this prestigious World Heritage Site for the people of Saltaire, and visitors from near and far.

During 2014 there was extensive consultation with residents, local businesses, planners, school children, over 68 local, regional and national organisations and many more individuals. There were local residents' meetings, a drop-in exhibition, art-based consultation with local schools, media releases, website, online questionnaire, a locally based employee survey and stalls at local festivals. The resultant Plan effectively balances the local benefits of being a World Heritage site, regional tourism and international heritage protection.

Highly commended

Yorkshire Water for Bridlington Revised Bathing Waters Directive (rBWD) scheme


Aerial view of Bridlington town.

Photo credit: Peter Smith photography 

The Bridlington rBWD Scheme demonstrates excellence in planning through the truly collaborative and inclusive approach taken in its design, implementation and delivery. Consequently, a successful project has been delivered providing far-reaching social, economic and environmental benefits to Bridlington. This project demonstrates excellence in planning through the truly collaborative nature of the approach to planning with stakeholders and planning authority engagement throughout the project, from inception to delivery.

YW presentationStephanie Walden, Land Use Planning Manager at Yorkshire Water, receiving the 'Highly Commended' Certificate from RTPI President Janet Askew.

Photo credit: Duncan Lomax, Ravage Productions




The RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2015 was kindly sponsored by Arup.


RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2014

The RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award celebrates and recognises the high quality planning work done in the Yorkshire Region.

There is a particular emphasis on projects on projects that are original and of regional significance, especially in highlighting how the project has led to an enhancement of the physical environment which has led to recognisable social and economic benefit in terms of greater human happiness, safety and efficiency.

Our 2014 Awards were presented by the RTPI President, Cath Ranson, at the RTPI Yorkshire Centenary Reception held on 9 July 2014 at the National Railway Museum in York.

2014 Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2014:

Richards Partington Architects for Derwenthorpe Phase One Derwenthorpe

Derwenthorpe is a mixed tenure, exemplar sustainable community of 540 high-quality, energy efficient homes on the periphery of York. The First Phase, consisting of 64 homes, was completed in March 2013 and construction of the next phase is underway.

The design draws on the rich architectural legacy of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's century-old model village at nearby New Earswick. Careful choice of materials and detailing combined with large steeply pitched roofs, painted brickwork and striking dormer windows create a distinctive sense of place. Priority is given to pedestrians and the extensive public landscape is integral to the development. All homes are designed to 'Lifetime Homes' standards and Code for Sustainable Homes level 4/5.

The basis of the sustainability strategy is that of a highly efficient building fabric with good u-values, low airpermeability and carefully controlled thermal bridging. The houses are carefully oriented with larger windows and sunspaces to the south maximising solar gains.

Houses use a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery and obtain their heating and hot water from the biomass-fired district heating network and on-site energy centre. Post-completion monitoring has shown a significant narrowing of the performance gap between predicted and actual energy use.

Speaking about the announcement, Simon Smales, RTPI Yorkshire Chair, said:

"I would like to thank and congratulate the Winner and all those projects that entered the Royal Town Planning Institute Yorkshire Planning in Excellence Award 2014. As is fitting in the RTPI's centenary year the competition was fierce. The quality of the submitted projects underlines and pays tribute to the continued key contribution planning and planners make to society, to the economy and to the environment. I am delighted with this Year's selection.  It is truly exemplary.  The Derwenthorpe Phase 1 project shows imagination and ingenuity, and sets a new standard for housing design, layout and energy efficiency - that meets the needs of all the community".

Richard Partington of Richards Partington Architects commenting on receiving the award said:

"The vision for Derwenthorpe has been sustained through a involved process including a great number of very committed people, representing the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, the City of York and the various organisations who have helped design and build the first phase, all of whom have championed the notion that Derwenthorpe should be an exemplar for sustainable and equitable development. We are very proud that our contribution (amongst many others) has been recognised by RTPI."

Highly commended

Sheffield City Council for Nursery Street and Edward Street Breathing Spaces

This was a combined entry for Nursery Street Park and Edward Street Park; one new and one remodelled public space within Sheffield City Centre. The parks were submitted in their own right as examples of high quality public realm completed in the past two years, with the benefits that they bring to local communities, quality of place and future regeneration. They are exemplars of the strategic approach that Sheffield City Council has adopted to delivering a network of local spaces across the city centre.

Photos from the RTPI Yorkshire Centenary Reception 

RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2013

The winner of our 2013 Award is:

Bradford City Park

The multi-award winning public space, in the heart of Bradford's city centre, contains the UK's largest man-made city centre water feature and has been the backdrop for a number of major events since it opened in March 2012, including the recent BBC production of 'Bollywood Carmen Live.'

Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council's executive member for planning, said: "I'm delighted City Park has won this award and that the quality of the professional work of our town planners has been recognised.

Competition entries were judged on originality, creation of economic, social and environmental benefit; community involvement and impact and our City Park ticks all the boxes."

Stan Driver, Chair of RTPI Yorkshire, said: "We are delighted to be able to award Bradford City Park first prize in the RTPI Yorkshire Region Planning Excellence Awards for 2013. The judging panel were particularly impressed by its planning content, its originality and its impact on the city."


Customer Centre and Civic Offices, York

The conversion of the West Offices building in York to create a new Customer Centre and Civic Offices for City of York Council, was runner-up. Developed by a partnership including Harrison Developments and Buccleugh Property, it blended conservation and new design to create a landmark city centre building.

About the awards

The RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Awards celebrate planning's contribution to society and seek to inspire all those involved in planning to achieve the highest standards.

In 2013 we looked for projects from across Yorkshire and the Humber which celebrated planning's contribution to society and impact on our quality of life; highlighted exceptional examples of planning practice and professional expertise; and which inspired others to achieve the same high standards.

RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2012

Following the strict criteria of this year's Planning Excellence Award and limited number of entries, unfortunately none of the entries were considered to be the overall winner of the RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Awards 2012.

However the judging panel granted Wakefield Council's entry a 'highly commended' accolade in recognition for their Site Specific Policies Local Plan.

The Site Specific Policies Local Plan (formally called the Site Specific Proposals Development Plan Document) provides a set of site allocations and policies to meet the vision, objectives and development strategy of the Core Strategy. The plan was one of the first local planning authorities in the North to be adopted on 12 September 2012 that complied with the four elements of soundness referred to in the National Planning Policy Framework; positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy.

We look forward to receiving next years entries to the RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Awards 2013.

RTPI Yorkshire Planning Awards 2011

Excellence and innovation in the planning process, worthy of celebrating in the region's planning community

The 2011 entries were all of a high standard, which made it difficult for the judging panel to reach a decision.  After much deliberation, we have awarded a joint Excellence Award and two Commendations.

Congratulations to the two joint winners of our 2011 Excellence Award:

  • Leeds City Region Green Infrastructure Strategy

2011 Award winners LeedsThe Leeds city region (LCR) comprises of 9 local authorities, county council and two national parks covering 5,000 square kilometres. The Green Infrastructure (GI) strategy identifies a series of strategic projects and programmes to align future investment in GI by the private, public and civic centres within the city region's wider economic regeneration objectives and plans. Projects like 'Fresh Aire', to co-ordinate GI actions with development proposals in the Aire Valley enable the city region's urban areas to become more resilient to the effect of climate change. The judges were impressed by the strategy being 'larger than local' and its development involving local authorities, its partners and key local GI infrastructure agencies acting across the region. The LCR is expected to accommodate growth over the coming decades and the GI strategy moves away from the   previous identification of potential projects which are undeliverable due to financial and technical practicalities. Here, the client, consultees and consulting teams have worked together to agree strategic priorities and establish a deliverable investment programme. The judges liked the way the emphasis is not on the cost of GI, but the value it adds to environmental protection and enhancement, leading to social health and well being as well as economic benefits. The Strategy  sets GI as an essential asset based on evidence, establishes both vision and objectives and uses three types of investment opportunities. Unlike traditional GI projects, the Strategy focuses on investment priorities and understands how and where the planning system will capture development value, also written in a way which non-planners can understand. The judges found this approach and philosophy refreshing not only because the Strategy is designed to be adaptable and the investment focus can change as circumstances demand. 

* Photo: Receiving the Award at the RTPI Yorkshire AGM on 8 December 2011. From l-r: Ian Houlston, LDA Design; Melanie Taylor, Leeds City Region Secretariat; Mick McLoughlin, RTPI Yorkshire Chair.

  • Great Places to Live: Creating Successful Neighbourhoods and Sustainable Communities in Sheffield

2011 Award winner SheffieldThis joint award celebrates the achievements of the planning and neighbourhood regeneration teams in Sheffield City Council over the years. The HMR programme covers an area of over 4,600 hectares and 72,000 homes made possible over the re-development of authority owned sites. The programmes consisted of demolition of nearly 2,500 homes, refurbishment of 9,300 homes and permission given on over 800 homes to date. The programme was based on sustainable development principles promoting more sustainable lifestyles through the re-development of existing, unpopular housing and urban neighbourhoods. The early development of the programme created a strategic policy fit through a masterplanning programme and site briefs for the council owned sites. The programme area was covered by community endorsed neighbourhood frameworks, now used as material consideration and background evidence in the Local Development Framework now formally adopted in the core strategy. The council teams involved have had a significant role in project management, brief writing, development management and community engagement. The Council specification for HMR development led to the formation of the Developer Manual; setting out the quality standards and environmental performance over and above the requirements of planning policy which impressed the judges. Sheffield is recognised as a centre of excellence in green roof technology as displayed in many HMR projects. The project entry submitted displayed the numerous examples of the types of housing and their design. Not only was there examples of housing, but also schools, supermarkets, public centres and the public realm. As a result of the HMR programme, and still in development is the 'Successful places and sustainable communities' model which is an approach the council has developed to neighbourhood regeneration.  

* Photo: Receiving the Award at the RTPI Yorkshire AGM on 8 December 2011. From l-r: Andy van Vliet, Sheffield CC; Alex Shilkoff, Sheffield CC; Mick McLoughlin, RTPI Yorkshire Chair.


  • Rotherham Flood Risk Toolkit
  • Granary Wharf

RTPI Yorkshire Planning Awards 2010 

We had a bumper number of entries for the RTPI Yorkshire Planning Award in 2010.  The overall Winner was the University of York Heslington East Campus - Design Brief and Masterplan. A Special Commendation was made to Goole: Haven of Opportunity - A Renaissance Plan and a Commendation was also made to an entry for Castleford Bridge.