RTPI Planning Awards for spatial strategies

For once Broadland District Council's PR team have neglected to make headlines about an award granted to the Greater Norwich Development Partnership of which they are a member and one can only imagine their current embarrassment at the timing of the award. The RTPI Planning Awards apparently exist "to celebrate the contribution that planners and planning make to society through enhancements of the physical environment that create recognisable social and economic benefit."

The day before the judge had given his verdict on the legal challenge to the Joint Core Strategy, the Royal Town Planning Institute gave a highly commended award to the Greater Norwich Development Partnership for their spatial strategy saying:

"Despite differences in their character and political make-up, Broadland District Council, Norwich City Council and South Norfolk Council have forged a successful partnership to pursue their shared growth agenda.

Their joint core strategy, produced under the umbrella of the Greater Norfolk Development Partnership with Norfolk County Council providing a strategic overview, sets a long-term vision which aims to ensure their areas benefit from growth and secure the infrastructure needed to support it.

The judges found the 156-page strategy, which features just 20 policies, well structured and clearly linked to the evidence base. They discovered evidence of strong project management from directors in each council and an external manager, as well as a real commitment between the partners to collaborative working at both officer and member level.

Further joint working is now under way on an investment plan, a joint Community Infrastructure Levy charging schedule and a five-year business plan"

The fact the the JCS could have been submitted as possible contender for the award is amazing enough although given BDC's previous tack record for entering such competitions perhaps we should not have been surprised.

The judge was a little less fulsome in his praise for the JCS. In his detailed judgment the Judge explained that documents for a proposed development such as the JCS had to be presented in such a way that they could readily be accessed with no paper chase to find out what had not been considered and why it had been rejected. During his summing up in December he said that  trying to find relevant documentation was "like wading through treacle” and asked the GNDP why they had not made it simple.


  1. Are you sure that wasn't the booby prize they were given?

  2. Just goes to show the sheer bloody arrogance of the BDC who clearly think they are above the law! Dxxxheads.

  3. If they made it simple and clear then everyone would be able to see what they are up to. The GNDP clearly don't want the public to know anything of what they are planning. The GNDP only inform the public after final decisions have been made.
    Then to comply with the law they hold a "Sham" consultation in which they either ignore all opposition or alter the public's responses to suit themselves.

  4. Well here we are, 29th February 2012, after how many years of stating the bleedin' obvious to BDC and the GNDP? It has taken a High Court Judge to wade through the treacle (at God knows what cost to the public), and for Stephen Heard, his legal team (paid for by himself and supporters) and the core group of SNUB, to struggle out the other side, rinse the treacle away and see clearly what the truth is. And the truth is that BDC/GNDP didn't merely get it wrong - not in the sense that some kind of honest mistake was made - No, they got everything right, just as they wanted it, but their deceit and virtual corruption have at last been exposed.

    Now they will have to do it properly: a concept as foreign and repugnant to these people as tarmacking a drive properly is to the worst of this contry's cowboy traders: only do it properly if there's absolutely no alternative!

    Now, there is no alternative for BDC & co. They must be kicking themselves. I doubt whether they even know how to do anything properly - they'll probably have to employ expensive consultants!

    Well Done SNUB, and thanks. And shame on you BDC for squandering untold sums of scarce public money on pursuing something nobody wants but you and your developer/landowner cronies.