With their innovative affordable housing strategy in North Norfolk and pioneering Campbell Wharf planning scheme in Milton Keynes, Bidwells has scored a double nomination in this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) national award shortlist for Planning Excellence.
Running for over 40 years, the RTPI’s Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected in the industry.
Bidwells and Broadland Housing Association were the winners of the RTPI’s East of England Award for Planning Excellence with their North Norfolk housing scheme. The district-wide affordable housing strategy created 61 affordable homes in five rural locations across the region, generating proceeds through the development of market homes.
This resourceful approach is helping to meet the severe shortage of affordable housing in North Norfolk and Bidwells has been working closely with North Norfolk District Council and local parish councils to create vibrant and sustainable rural communities.
Bidwells’ other stellar scheme, Campbell Wharf, was winner of the RTPI’s South East Award for Planning Excellence and commended by the judges for transforming an underwhelming location into a ‘vibrant and unique’ mixed-use development which includes 383 new homes, a nursery, a pub, retail and commercial units, public open spaces and a short-stay marina.
RTPI President, Wei Yang FRTPI, said: “Many congratulations to all the finalists at this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence – the projects, teams and individuals showcase the very best of the planning profession from all the RTPI’s regions and nations and from countries around the world."
When asked about the Campbell Wharf nomination, Mike Jones MRTPI, Planning Partner at Bidwells said: "It is fantastic that this scheme has received the recognition it deserves as a truly mixed-use development of the highest quality. This is a testament to the success of local engagement and partnership working between the project team and Milton Keynes Development Partnership. It was particularly pleasing to hear that the judges acknowledged the enhancement of the wider setting, establishing a benchmark for future development along the canalside."
Iain Hill, Planning Partner at Bidwells spoke of the success of the North Norfolk scheme and said: “It’s really positive that even though the acute need for affordable homes is often hampered by viability, this innovative approach to proactively using planning policy to help delivery in rural areas has been recognised by the RTPI.”
As winners of the RTPI’s East of England and South East Awards, Bidwells and its partners, Crest Nicholson, Milton Keynes Council, TP Bennett Architects and Broadland Housing Association, will join other regional winners at the national RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence in April 2021.