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Brent Cross and King’s Cross regeneration schemes clean up at London Planning Awards

Amongst those celebrating following this year’s London Planning Awards were schemes to clean up and reinvigorate some of the capital’s most deprived areas.

The London Planning Awards, hosted last night at City Hall, saw both Brent Cross Cricklewood and King’s Cross Central schemes win awards for their part in contributing to the regeneration of run-down quarters of the capital.  Unlike last year’s winners, which included the iconic Arsenal Emirates Stadium, this year’s focus centred on schemes emphasising regeneration and affordable housing.

The overall Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Planning was presented to the Kings Cross Central development, submitted by Argent (King’s Cross) Ltd.  It was praised for creating a new gateway to the capital, providing nearly 2000 new homes, along with offices, shops and leisure and medical facilities.

The Best Conceptual Project was awarded to the Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme, a 250 acre development of previously neglected land.  The scheme will provide an additional 7,500 homes and 27,000 jobs over its 27-year development.

The award for the new category, Excellence in Affordable Housing Delivery, was won by the Rubicon development in Greenwich.  The category aimed to highlight the social housing schemes setting the standard across London and the Rubicon scheme was recognised for delivering 510 units, of which 50% are affordable.

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said:

”The standard of entries in this year’s Awards is outstanding, reminding us once again that London leads the world in this field as in so many others.  I am particularly impressed to see the increased prominence of design features that address the challenges of climate change.  Buildings are one of the main consumers of energy, and it is absolutely essential that the planning system is used to achieve major emissions reductions.

“The winner of my personal award is a project which will transform an area that has suffered for years from uncertainty, blight and decay. Rapid change is now afoot at Kings Cross, and last year saw the first concrete manifestation of this with the opening of the stunning new St Pancras International terminus alongside a new and dramatically improved Thameslink station. The scale of the proposals for Kings Cross is huge, with 50 new buildings, 20 new squares and 20 new streets, all designed to unify an area that has been disjointed for 150 years by the mass of railway lines, yards and warehouses.

“I very much look forward to the continued transformation of Kings Cross, and to its becoming a vibrant and thriving destination for Londoners and visitors for generations to come.”

Harvey McGrath, Chairman of London First, said:

“London’s landscape, like its citizens, is constantly changing.  The London Planning Awards are about recognising those who have contributed to changing the capital for the better. This year’s awards have highlighted schemes that will bring new life to neglected areas on top of catering for London’s growing population.  With both large-scale, prestigious schemes and smaller but no less important projects emerging as victors, we look forward to new standards being set in planning across the board.”

Jim Claydon, President of Royal Town Planning Institute, said:

“Great planning blends seamlessly into the existing urban fabric. It doesn’t shout out, ‘look at me’ like an award winning building, it is often invisible and inherently seems to make sense – who can remember Trafalgar Square as it used to be? These awards are tremendously important in recognising great planning and great planners and the Royal Town Planning Institute is delighted to continue to support them.”

London Planning Awards list of winners in full:

The Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Planning
King’s Cross Central, Argent (King’s Cross) Ltd

Best Conceptual Project (sponsored by Berwin Leighton Paisner)
Winner: Brent Cross Cricklewood – a New Town Centre, The Brent Cross Cricklewood Development Partners
Highly commended: Tottenham Hale Urban Centre Masterplan, submitted by LB Haringey

Excellence in Affordable Housing Delivery (sponsored by The Housing Corporation)
Winner:  Rubicon, London & Quadrant Housing Trust
Highly commended: Crossways, Tower Hamlets, Swan Housing Group

Best Community-based Planning Initiative (sponsored by Land Securities)
Winner: Somerset Court, St. Mary & St. Pancras School, Unite Group Plc & London Diocesan Bd.
Highly commended: Spa Fields, London Borough of Islington and EC1 New Deal for Communities

Best Built Project (sponsored by CB Richard Ellis)
Winner:  New Street Square EC4, Land Securities
Highly Commended: Cardinal Place, EPR Architects Ltd

Best New Public Space (sponsored by Lovells)
Winner: Bishops Square, Hammerson PLC
Highly commended: Queen Street Central Plaza, City of London Corporation

Best Personal Contribution to London (sponsored by GVA Grimley)
Winner:  Bob West, entered by CB Richard Ellis
Highly commended: Brian Waters, entered by Andrew Rogers Planning

Notes to Editors
The London Planning Awards were established in 2002 by the Mayor, London First and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) to raise the profile of planning in London through recognising the work of professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to planning in London

The London Planning Awards, now in their fifth year, are run jointly by the Mayor, London First and the RTPI, although are open to non members of London First and the RTPI.  Local authorities, consultants, community groups, developers, public agencies, partnerships and other teams are eligible to enter.  Applicants may enter their own work or be nominated.

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP. www.londonfirst.co.uk

The RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people.  We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space.  Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.  For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: www.rtpi.org.uk, 41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865

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