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Council’s green infrastructure design guide wins top award

Harrogate Borough Council has recently picked up a prestigious national planning award for its Green Infrastructure Design Guide.

The award, presented by the Landscape Institute, placed the council’s submission amongst other outstanding national and international landscape planning projects including the Olympic Park design for the 2016 Rio Olympics; Gardens by the Bay in Singapore; Gorky Park in Moscow, the rehabilitation of Shek O Quarry in Hong Kong and the transformation of London’s Leicester Square.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Wayne Hemmingway MBE who is an English fashion designer and co-founder of Red or Dead. Wayne, a former town planner, is also chairman of Building for Life (the national standard endorsed by the government for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods).

Councillor Alan Skidmore, the council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Economic Development, is delighted with the award:

The council was nominated best in category for the practical and integrated approach the planning policy, consultancy and marketing teams have taken on creating the guide for green infrastructure and open space in the planning process.

The guide will provide a key part of the evidence base for the Harrogate District Sites and Polices Development Plan Document, which includes policies and allocations for the development and conservation of the district. The case studies in the guide will give a good heads up to developers about what we would expect from them.

There is even a checklist that sets out the key steps to follow before submitting a planning application.

In their remarks, the judges said:

The guide clearly sets out the case and opportunities for green infrastructure in a way that will be accessible to developers.’

Sue Illman President of the Landscape Institute also placed a strong emphasis on ‘big thinking’ in her opening note for the awards and commented that planning our environment is critical on all levels.

Sue made specific mention of Harrogate Council’s guide and said:

Big thinking also has to deliver locally, as ultimately that is where it is judged by the people who live, work and play there. Understanding people, place and how that can be reconciled within the environment underpins the work of Harrogate Borough Council’s Green Infrastructure Design Guide.

Collectively, this year’s entries showed a marked shift from design solving projects to those that looked well beyond the brief and demonstrated new approaches for future environmental challenges in delivering the environment that society needs, addressing issues such as increasing population, climate change and sustainability.

Photograph: Landscape Institute Awards 2013.jpg: pictured l to r Wendy Wright, Harrogate Borough Council’s Principal Landscape Architect: Jez Vilkhu, Commercial Sales Director of sponsors Marshalls: Wayne Hemingway MBE Chair of Building for Life

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