Further accolade for Moat Lane at RTPI awards

The Moat Lane regeneration project in Towcester, South Northants, was highly commended at this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) East Midlands Awards for Planning Excellence.

Published: Thursday, 26th November 2020

The RTPI 2020 awards were virtual this year, due to the pandemic, but they still managed to celebrate in style the wonderful achievements of planners across the country.

The Moat Lane project, which began in 2009 with the purchase of the Watermeadows, has seen a derelict part of Towcester town centre completely transformed.

As well as dozens of new homes and a new retail thoroughfare in Whittons Lane, the project also saw the restoration of the historic Bury Mount, which has become a focal point for the town.

Cllr Dermot Bambridge, SNC's portfolio holder for environmental services and Moat Lane Project Board chairman, believes the commendation is well deserved. He said: “As a council, we are immensely proud of what we have achieved for Towcester.  As many towns have struggled, we have managed to attract new businesses and residents and created a truly wonderful environment for people to live and work.

”In particular, what to me are most impressive are the overall design and attention to detail in the new buildings, which include the council offices, state-of-the art library, shops and houses, and the way that they blend in with the centre piece of the historic Bury Mount.  This overlooks the Grade II* listed almost 60-acre Watermeadows that SNC purchased for the enjoyment of the people of South Northamptonshire”

RTPI East Midlands Vice Chair, Scott O’Dell commented: “The project demonstrates an exemplar approach in identifying a problematic area of Towcester and taking positive steps, becoming landowner and developer.”

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the longest-running and most high-profile awards in the industry. For over 40 years they have recognised and celebrated outstanding projects, plans and people.

Cllr Bambridge went on to say: “This project is an excellent example of how planning can have a positive effect on our communities and the environment and how planners can use their expertise and enthusiasm to create inclusive, happy and healthy places and spaces, whilst protecting our heritage and environment.”