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SWT design guide shortlisted for national awards

22 February 2023 : Council news, Planning and development

A Supplementary Planning Document published by Somerset West and Taunton Council has been shortlisted in the Urban Design Group’s National Urban Design Awards for 2022/23.

The SPD document, titled ‘Design Guide for a zero carbon, healthy, resilient and distinctive environment’, was nominated in the awards’ ‘Design Codes’ category in recognition for its achievement in generating high-quality, healthy, resilient and sustainable design outcomes in development and placemaking.

It clearly communicates the Council’s design requirements for all types of planning applications and sets out the Council’s agenda for achieving higher quality, beautiful and sustainable buildings and places and to address the harmful effects of climate change.

The Design Guide was adopted in December 2021 in accordance with the government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and supports existing planning policy for the Somerset West and Taunton area until 2040.

Finalists for the 2022/23 awards were announced via the UDG’s website on Wednesday, 15 February, and were selected from entries throughout the UK and Ireland by a panel of 29 expert judges using criteria, including latest best practice guidance, statutory and common law duties, and environmental targets.

In addition to the ‘Design Codes’ category, awards are also offered for ‘Policy, Strategy and Design Guidance’; ‘Frameworks and Large Masterplans’; ‘Small and Midscale Masterplans’; and ‘Completed Schemes’.

Cllr Mike Rigby, Executive Member for Economic Development, Planning and Transportation, said: “We're incredibly excited to be recognized by the National Urban Design Awards Program for our work in producing this design guide and I wish the Planning team every luck for the upcoming awards ceremony.

“The guide reflects our commitment to delivering significant housing growth and sets out the principles of place making and sustainability, and how these can be implemented to produce resilient, healthy, safe and attractive places to live and work, with green spaces and green credentials.”

Winners for each of the five categories will be announced as part of the next National Urban Design Conference planned for Sheffield towards the end of April.