Eco-housing scheme in Norwich wins top planning award

Carrowbreck Meadow, a development of 14 eco-homes, the largest of its kind in Greater Norwich, has won at the United Kingdom and Ireland’s most prestigious planning awards.

This landmark scheme took the top prize in the Excellence in Planning to Deliver Housing category at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2017 that were held at a ceremony in London last night.

The Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry.

Carrowbreck Meadow is a development of 14 Passivhaus homes in a woodland setting. The scheme sets new benchmarks for sustainable development, not only meeting the demanding requirements of full Passivhaus certification but also by providing 43% of the site as affordable homes, an over provision of 10%.

The positioning of the homes maximises the access to solar energy in winter and prevents over heating in summer. A thermal bridge and draught-free building envelope exceeds regulations for airtightness five times over.

Fresh filtered air is provided to the homes utilising a heat recovery system capable of achieving over 90% efficiencies. All homes have electric car charging points, rainwater butts and connection points for photo-voltaic installation.

Nick Raynsford, former planning and housing minister and Chair of the Judging Panel, said:

“We were impressed with the innovative and proactive approach taken and the excellent use of publicly owned land. With over 40% of affordable housing on the site, it is a great example of how innovation, quality and affordable housing could be delivered hand in hand.”

Running for over 40 years, the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society. This year saw a nearly 40% increase in entrants and the judges shortlisted 90 finalists across 13 categories.

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

“AECOM is proud to be a headline sponsor once again of the RTPI’s Awards for Planning Excellence. Those recognised tonight illustrate the best of the planning profession and demonstrate the impact we have on quality and delivery in every area of 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 of those short-listed for awards and the category winners on behalf of the team at Savills.”

The Royal Town Planning Institute champions the power of planning in creating prosperous places and vibrant communities. It represents over 24,000 members worldwide, supporting them throughout their careers. The Institute shapes planning policy, raise professional standards and is the only body in the UK to confer Chartered status to planners, the highest professional qualification.