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Top awards for partnership planning schemes

Two partnership planning schemes have been awarded top marks at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Planning award logo

The schemes, which were among twenty-six high quality entries received from across the East Midlands and includes a plan for housing and employment growth in Leicestershire until 2050 and an initiative to reduce congestion in Melton, were announced as winners in their categories at the East Midlands Royal Town Planning Association Awards for Planning Excellence.

The Melton Mowbray Distributor Road scheme took the top award in the Natural Environment category. The collaborative work between the county council, AECOM, Natural England and the Environment Agency in developing the diversion for the River Eye was particularly highlighted during the ceremony.

The planning application submitted in October 2018 included details of substantial environmental mitigation including tree and hedge planting, ecological enhancement areas and sustainable drainage. The innovative approach taken to community consultation, including an app and visualisation created using drone footage, also contributed to the project win.

I am delighted by the fact that the Melton Distributor Road was the winner in the Planning for the Natural Environment category.

It is very rare for a road scheme to triumph in this category and the win is a huge accolade for our delivery partner AECOM and the many county council colleagues across a wide range of teams who have worked so hard on this project.

Byron Rhodes, deputy leader of the county council

The Strategic Growth Plan for Leicester and Leicestershire was announced as winner in the category for Excellence in Plan Making.  The plan, which was developed by Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council, the seven local borough and district authorities and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited, focuses on four key matters: delivering new housing; supporting the economy; identifying essential infrastructure; and protecting the environment and built heritage.

Cllr Trevor Pendleton, chair of the members’ advisory group for the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan, said: “I am proud of the fact that partners in Leicester and Leicestershire have been so successful at the 2019 regional planning awards; which thoroughly reflects the strength of our partnership working.

“As well as winning the category for Excellence in Plan Making for the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan, partners almost swept the board, winning awards in the categories for Planning for the Natural Environment, Planning to Deliver Homes and Planning for a Successful Economy.  Furthermore, Blaby District Council was the overall winner for the delivery of the Lubbesthorpe Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE), which is a fantastic achievement.”

Friars Mill is a £2.3 million office development at the heart of Leicester’s Waterside regeneration area. The city council-led development has created more than 11,000sq ft of modern office space in the grounds of the historic Friars Mill development, on the banks of the river Soar. 

Leicester’s City Mayor, Peter Soulsby, said: “It’s great news that Friars Mill has been recognised in these awards. The scheme has set a benchmark in terms of high-quality development in the city.

“Schemes like Friars Mill help to generate substantial interest in inward investment in key regeneration areas. Development in areas like this will be central to us delivering on the city’s commitments outlined in the Strategic Growth Plan, which sets out a balanced and sustainable plan for development in Leicester and Leicestershire.”

Kevin Harris, LLEP Chair, added: “We have welcomed the opportunity as a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to work with local authorities on their long-term strategic plans. They have helped to inform the Local Industrial Strategy that we are developing with government to bring forward the investment needed for infrastructure and housing to support productivity and business growth.

“These award winning plans are testament to the forward thinking proposals for future developments in  housing to support population change, major infrastructure improvements to allow for new growth and congestion relief and rail improvements to improve connections.”

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