Flintshire wins at Wales Planning Awards
Flintshire County Council Planning team is celebrating after winning the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Wales Award for Planning Excellence recently.
The Walks in Flint, the first site to be re-developed as part of Flintshire County Council’s Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP), was crowned the winner at an awards ceremony in Cardiff. The development comprises 92 new council and affordable, energy-efficient homes which have been built in the heart of Flint by programme partner Wates Residential North.
These are the first council homes to be built in a generation and the development replaced 1950s maisonettes which had become increasingly unpopular, energy-inefficient, had fallen into disrepair and was a location for significant anti-social behaviour.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection, Councillor Chris Bithell, said:
“Delivery of this scheme has been a collaborative process, from the early involvement of the Town Council and local residents, to more formal liaison with the Design Commission through to collaborative working with the Archaeological Trust to address site issues.
“Dealing with SHARP has provided an opportunity for planning to demonstrate how it can positively work to deliver the Council’s priorities of preventing homelessness, reducing fuel poverty and improving living conditions. A main driver is to help create better places and Flint Walks is a better place.”
Royal Town Planning Institute Director of Wales, Roisin Willmott, said:
“Quality place-making sits at the heart of the Flint Walks Housing Scheme. Planners through this scheme have reinvigorated a sense of place and community. Residents now respect this area, feel safe and are physically connected to the town centre.
“A strong collaboration between planners at Flintshire County Council and developer Wates Residential ensured the new homes were energy-efficient and affordable. This considered approach addressed real issues of fuel poverty in the area. Planners will continue to create better places and improve the well-being of Welsh communities.”
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Bernie Attridge, said:
“I am delighted that Flintshire has won this prestigious award. As the demand for social and affordable housing continues to grow, we must maintain the momentum in our ambitious plans to address that demand.
“These new sites are at the heart of our local communities and will provide further high quality housing, help sustain those communities and create employment opportunities.”
The formal collaboration with Wates Living Space has resulted in a development partnership which will provide 500 affordable homes across Flintshire in five years.
The Royal Town Planning Institute champions the power of planning in creating prosperous places and vibrant communities. They represent over 25,000 members worldwide, supporting them throughout their careers. They shape planning policy, raise professional standards and are the only body in the UK to confer Chartered status to planners, the highest professional qualification.
Photo L-R Mick Cunningham – Wates Residential North with Flintshire County Council’s Andy Roberts, David Glyn Jones, Andrew Farrow and Melville Evans