The winners of the Planning Awards 2015, run by Planning magazine and Planning Resource, were announced on 17 November during a celebration evening at the Royal Society of Medicine in London.
Local Authority Team of the Year - SPONSORED BY THE PLANNING OFFICERS SOCIETY - POS Cup presented by Stewart Murray, President, 2015/16:
- Planners at the council have taken a radical approach to plan-making - combining more than130 strategies into one integrated plan. They ensured that innovative approaches to community engagement were integral to the city's development plan, published in draft form in January. The development management team reports 96 per cent of major applications decided on time in 2015/16, and an average application validation time of two days.
- In 2014/15, the group's net cost to the borough was £970,000. In the same period, it contributed £563,000 in application fee and pre-application income. Over the past year, the group has seen a series of key planning policy documents through from examination to adoption, including the Joint Area Action Plan and Community Infrastructure Levy charging schedule for London Southend Airport. They worked closely with the developer on the high-profile Marine Plaza seafront regeneration scheme, which comprises 282 homes, restaurants, cafes and commercial space.
In a close contest between these two teams, judges resolved their differences by deciding that they should be made joint winners. They were impressed by the value-for-money approach demonstrated by both teams, saying they were "exemplars of a plan-led system bringing about a long-lasting impact, by attracting large scale investment and environmental improvement".
Plymouth's team The Southend team