by Saxtead Parish Council
Suffolk Coastal District Council’s high quality planning department has been recognised by two top awards.
In fact, Suffolk Coastal did a clean sweep at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s East of England awards for Planning Excellence event at Girton College, Cambridge, on Friday (14 September 2018).
Two awards were presented at the event:
The Award for Planning Excellence, from a short list of 10 submissions from all across the region, was awarded to Suffolk Coastal District Council and Commercial Estates Group (CEG) for the Brightwell Lakes (Adastral Park).
This award acknowledged the fantastic collaboration between the council, applicant and local communities, developing a proposal that addressed all the planning issues in a timely and inclusive way. This ensured the development consent took advantage of the opportunity to create the new homes, while minimising the impact on the sensitive area.
And, the future is bright, with the second award for the Young Planner of the Year being awarded to Ben Woolnough, Major Projects Advisor, in Suffolk Coastal’s Planning Department – who worked on the Brightwell Park project, among others.
“This is a fantastic recognition of the approach of the council and, in particular, the Planning Committee and Planning Department. It recognises our ability to face up to the difficult challenges planning presents and deliver the right outcome. It is particularly the case when you take into account the long and complex history of this site,” said Cllr Tony Fryatt, Suffolk Coastal’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Planning.
“The Brightwell Park development is now the benchmark for all the other strategic scale developments that are proposed in our new Local Plan, and across east Suffolk as a whole.”
“The awards are brilliant news, as they acknowledge all the hard work that Ben and the planning team have put in to this project. It also recognises the incredible range and depth of skills we have at Suffolk Coastal.”
Royal Town Planning Institute Regional Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate projects and people who have helped create exceptional places and improved the lives of those who live and work there; highlighting how planning and planners work to create a safe, healthy and sustainable future.
Winning these prestigious awards is a clear demonstration of quality. The comment about Brightwell Park from the judging panel described it as an: ‘Excellent example of community engagement where all potential users and interests were involved and engaged.’
Presenting the awards, Ian Tant, Vice Chair of RTPI East of England, said: “Brightwell Lakes project is an exemplar of real inclusive planning. Planners and developers engaged early on with communities, right through to implementation. As result, communities shaped outcomes in relation to transport, green spaces, policing improvements and the overall master plan.”
“Most importantly, it will become a thriving new neighbourhood offering 2,000 homes including 500 affordable homes. In east Suffolk, home ownership is out of reach for many, and affordable housing waiting lists are four times the availability.”