HOW Planning Awarded for Regeneration Work
HOW Planning has once again been recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute for its regeneration work in the North West, winning this prestigious award for the second year running. The Manchester based planning and environmental consultancy has been presented with a RTIP NW Planning Excellence award in recognition of its work leading the team at Alderley Park in Cheshire.
The former AstraZeneca site covers around 160 hectares which sits entirely within North Cheshire’s Greenbelt. HOW was appointed as planning and environmental advisor on the scheme and in partnership with Cheshire East Council devised a viable strategy to ”repurpose” the site following AstraZeneca’s phased departure in 2013.
HOW led the preparation of a major planning application to deliver new and upgraded specialist accommodation for life sciences which could, in time, secure as many as 7,000 jobs. Crucially the scheme also includes 275 new homes which the submission demonstrated were necessary to deliver the overall vision through cross funding essential infrastructure and other investment needed to give the site a new lease of life. Approval was granted in February 2016 by the Council after the Secretary of State decided not to intervene.
Says Gary Halman, Managing Partner at HOW Planning: “The RTPI North West awards celebrate the contribution planning and planners make to society and Alderley Park, which is now being brought forward for development by Manchester Science Partnerships, is another example of how a regeneration scheme can deliver major benefits to an area and help stem the impact of AZ’s disinvestment on the local and regional economies.”
Dr Chris Doherty, Managing Director of Alderley Park said: “We are delighted to receive this acknowledgement from the Institute. Before submitting the planning application we undertook extensive consultation and were pleased to be able to outline our vision and ambition for Alderley Park, which we believe is a hugely important asset for the North.
“Our partners at HOW did a first class job and the Alderley Park team are now firmly focused on delivering the development and ensuring the massive potential of this site is fulfilled.”
Judges from RTPI (The Royal Town Planning Institute) said: “This is a very interesting project which piqued the judge’s attention given the economic and political context, including the Northern Powerhouse. This is an example of good solid planning by the project team, who sought to work alongside the planning system and the local authority planners to bring forward a successful framework for future development.
“The judges were impressed with how the framework sought to offer a viable and realistic future for this big (and important) site and how it could contribute to the wider economic growth of the city region.”
The award follows similar success in 2015 when HOW was presented with the same award for their work on the 76ha Horwich Loco works scheme in Bolton, Lancashire.
Pictured from left to right: Adrian Crowther, Cheshire East Council; Joe Broadley, Bruntwood; Dr Chris Doherty, Manchester Science Partnerships; Jo Wise, Cheshire East Council; Gary Halman, HOW Planning; Andrew Bradshaw from award sponsor WYG; and Stephen Wilkinson, RTPI Vice President