Plymouth’s ambitious plan to deliver 5,000 homes wins top planning award

The ambitious Plan for Homes by Plymouth City Council which aims to deliver 5,000 new homes over five years, is the 2016 winner of the Royal Town Planning Institute’ (RTPI) Silver Jubilee Cup, at the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence, the UK and Ireland’s most prestigious planning award.

Some of the 5,000 homes will be built on council owned land identified and released for development and the scheme will target institutional investors to attract funding to build the necessary infrastructure. The Council is actively working with the existing local community, local councillors and private companies to achieve its aspirational plan.

The Plan supports the Council’s overarching aim to be “one of Europe’s most vibrant waterfront cities where an outstanding quality of life is enjoyed by everyone”.

Phil Williams, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute said:

“Plymouth’s Plan for Homes successfully addresses the serious housing issues in the local area, looking to deliver a large number of houses, half of which will be affordable. The Plan is an example of the major contribution planners are making to tackle the nation’s housing crisis.”

Roisin Willmott, Awards Advisor said:

“The Plan for Homes is an innovative solution to Plymouth’s housing problems. It is a comprehensive city wide planning framework that considers a range of issues including land release, infrastructure and delivery. The very high quality of finalists this year made selecting the winners in each of the categories challenging but the high quality of this entry made it stand out.”

Nick Raynsford, former Planning Minister and Chair of the Expert Judges Planel said:

“We are facing huge economic, social, demographic and environmental pressures. There are a range of different but equally demanding challenges facing almost every community in the UK. How we respond to these challenges and plan imaginatively and positively for a better future is absolutely vital to our country’s on-going success. Good planning is fundamental.”

“It would be nice to think that the positive contribution made by outstanding plans and planners as evidenced by the finalists – improving the built environment, creating great places to live and work in, supporting economic growth and development, and enhancing the quality of life of communities both in the UK and internationally – is universally recognised. But sadly we still too often hear the glib, lazy criticisms of planning and planners, coming from those who ought to know better. That is why it is all the more important for us to celebrate the achievements, and there are so many really impressive achievements, of planning at its best. That is what we are doing through these Awards.”

Phil Bisatt, Chair of RTPI South West said:

“It is fantastic that planning in the South West of England has received national recognition through this prestigious Award. Planners across the region are working hard, every day to deliver better places for people to live and work.”

Apart from being the overall Awards winner, Plymouth’s Plan for Homes won in the Excellence in Planning to Deliver Housing category and is also the RTPI’s Local Authority Planning Team of the Year.

The annual RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence were held last night at a ceremony in London. There were 13 category winners including two new categories: an international award and one for a volunteer planner.

Andrew Jones, Practice Leader Design, Planning + Economics, EMEA at AECOM said:

“AECOM is proud to be a headline sponsor of the RTPI’s Awards for Planning Excellence. The winners were a diverse mixture of outstanding examples of planning, which really demonstrate the impact the profession has on quality and delivery in the built environment. On behalf of AECOM I would like to extend our congratulations to all of the commendations and winners.”

David Jackson, Head of Planning, Savills said:

“Savills is delighted to be a headline sponsor of the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. The winners this year reflect the positive impact planning has on our communities across the UK, Ireland and internationally through projects, plans and people. I’d like to congratulate all the category winners and commendations from the team at Savills.”