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City's urban design team are best in the region.

A CITY's urban design team have been crowned regional champions.

Newcastle City Council's team this week picked up an award for good planning practice in the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards.

The RTPI recognised the council's 'developer guidance notes' which play a key role in supporting developers in the delivery of private and social housing through the clarity and speed of their process and procedures.

The schemes involved varied from small infill sites to the refurbishment of a derelict section of the internationally-renowned Grade 2* listed Byker estate. In their summary, the judges noted: "In all cases, the notes provide excellent guidance on the policy and physical context for the proposed development and possible layout options."

Kath Lawless, head of development management at Newcastle Council, said: "We are absolutely delighted with this award, which recognises the efforts of the team in working with developers to deliver quality projects on the ground. The guidance notes have been really successful in helping developers identify the opportunities and constraints with sites and move smoothly through the planning process to deliver housing and jobs on the ground."

Two projects in which the role of the planning team played a key role were also acknowledged by the judges.

The Toffee Factory in Ouseburn, a former derelict building which Newcastle Council transformed, won a regional award, and Bolam Coyne, a refurbished derelict area on the Byker estate, was commended.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 6, 2012
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