London 'supersewer' project scoops top planning award

A project to build a new 'supersewer' stretching 15 miles across London has lifted the top award at this year's Planning Awards.

One of the boring machines being used to construct the Thames Tideway Tunnel
One of the boring machines being used to construct the Thames Tideway Tunnel

The winners of the Planning Awards 2015, organised by Planning magazine and Planning Resource, were announced last night at an event at the Royal Society of Medicine in London.

Spanning 18 categories, the winners represent a huge range of outstanding planning work by councils, consultants, developers, lawyers, voluntary groups and other key players in the planning system. The winning entries were selected by a judging panel of 22 experts.

The Editor’s Award, which is given to the entry judged to be the most outstanding of all the category winners, went to the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, submitted by Thames Water. This entry also won the Award for Infrastucture Planning, sponsored by Burges Salmon.

In pictures: The Planning Awards 2015 - Click through to view pictures from the 2015 Planning Awards.

Stretching more than 15 miles from Acton in west London to Abbey Mills in the east, the Thames Tideway Tunnel is the largest scheme yet to be examined under the nationally significant infrastructure project regime.

Given consent in September 2014, the scheme will provide badly needed support to the celebrated but now overstretched London tunnels built by Victorian engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette.

Elsewhere, the Award for Strategic Planning, sponsored by Pegasus Group, went to the Plymouth Plan, submitted by Plymouth City Council. Awards for Neighbourhood Planning and Stakeholder Engagement in Planning went to the Central Milton Keynes Business Neighbourhood Plan, submitted by CMK Town Council.

The Award for Planning for Housing Growth  for schemes of more than 1,750 homes), sponsored by H4 Group, went to the North West Cambridge Development, submitted by the University of Cambridge. The Award for Housing Growth on schemes below that threshold went to the Blackwall Reach Regeneration Project in east London.

The award for Planning Law Firm of the Year, sponsored by RPS/CgMs, went to Trowers & Hamlins LLP, while the award for Planning Consultancy of the Year, sponsored by Thorncliffe, went to LUC.

The Local Authority Team of the Year Award, sponsored by the Planning Officers Society, was shared betyween Plymouth City Council's strategic planning and infrastructure department and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's planning group.

Consultancy Turley received the Best Workplace Award, while the Enforcement Award went to Ealing Council and Ivy Legal's Outhouse Project.

Further awards were made for the Lincolnshire Lakes green infrastructure project near Scunthorpe, ecological enhancement of the RSPB's Cliffe Pools nature reserve in Kent, Ealing Council's Southall Gateway Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), the Milton Park Local Development Order (LDO) in Oxfordshire, the Northamptonshire Revolving Infrastructure Fund's pilot scheme on the A45 Daventry Development Link and The Sill landscape discovery centre in Northumberland.

Commenting on the Central Milton Keynes Business Neighbourhood Plan’s double success in the Neighbourhood Planning and Stakeholder Engagement in Planning categories, Linda Inoki of CMK Alliance said: "We are absolutely delighted to win this recognition. Milton Keynes is a showcase for planning’ ability to change people’s lives and boost the economy, so we felt it was vital for the city centre's new development plan to reflect the anbitions of local residents as well as investors."

Commenting on the Site Allocation of the Year Award for the Southall Gateway SPD, Ealing Council planning policy manager Steve Barton said: "The award is excellent news for a team that has been working really hard to bring a lot of stakeholders together, including businesses, developers and public sector agencies."

Commenting on the housing growth award for the North West Cambridge Development, deputy project director Heather Topel said: "The award highlights the high levels of sustainability and design that the University of Cambridge seeks in its projects. Our ambition has always been to deliver housing responsibly, as oart of a coherent scheme with community, environmental and sustainability benefits."  

Commenting on the Award for Planning for Economic Growth made to the Milton Park LDO, Terence O’Rourke associate director James Iles said: "It’s a great accolade and recognition of the scope for partnership working to unlock sustainable growth opportunities. For the business community, LDOs are about giving certainty for investment, but it also gives confidence to all stakeholders that planning issues have been addressed upfront." 

Full details on all the award winners and commendations can be found here.

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