The BusinessLDN Planning Awards 2023 on the evening of Wednesday 12th July 2023 was a showcase of the best of London developments. There are some predominant common themes running through these exceptional projects, which remind us that there are no short cuts to what makes good planning.
At the outset the teams working on these schemes have fostered a deep understanding of the areas in which they are located. This is not just in relation to their physical and spatial context but a full appreciation of their history and character, the people who live and work in them and their needs.
These developments have also emerged from full, constructive, open and effective engagement between the public and private sector, the community and stakeholders. This requires trust, time, respect and commitment.
Collaboration is then key. Greater outcomes are achieved via the meeting of many minds, effective problem solving, improved creativity, recognition and understanding.
What results is development that has a sense of belonging but which also makes a real difference to an area.
At the awards ceremony it was exciting to watch teams that had demonstrated good planning celebrating together and reaping the rewards of their commitment to understanding, engagement and collaboration. These developments will hopefully inspire us all to do better and create the exceptional schemes of tomorrow.
Building London Planning Award 2023 Winners
Best New Place to Live
Winner: 1 Creekside — Submitted by the London Borough of Lewisham — This project is part of the Building for Lewisham programme, which seeks to address the housing crisis with 10,000 families on the housing waiting list. The Council purchased the site with planning permission and increased the 35% affordable provision to 100%, which will be managed via Lewisham Homes.
Best New Place to Work
Winner: The Forge — Submitted by Landsec — The Forge has carefully curated outdoor and indoor spaces to meet the wellbeing needs of a modern workspace: fresh air, sunlight, green spaces, end-of-trip facilities and extensive cycle spaces in a net zero carbon development.
Highly commended: Henrietta House Reimagined — Submitted by CBRE& Lazari Investments — A full-scale office regeneration involving the demolition of the rear facade of Henrietta House and the erection of a seven-storey rear extension above a service yard enabling 144,500sqft over 10 floors, accommodating 2,000 employees and a greatly improved working environment.
Best Mixed-Use Scheme (sponsored by CarneySweeney)
Winner: 72 Broadwick Street — Submitted by Shaftesbury, Rolfe Judd Planning, Buckley Gray Yeoman
The proposals reflect the diverse and vibrant nature of Soho, characterised by entertainment uses and retail at ground floor level, but underpinned by grade A employment spaces, which attracts office workers, and an embedded residential community.
Highly commended: Soho Place — Submitted by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris — The project aimed to regenerate the east of Oxford Street through exemplary architecture that: creates a mix of uses across the two sites including retail, office, theatre, bar/restaurant and new public space; enhances the London Underground and Elizabeth Line entrances at Centre Point’s new plaza by improving views, connections and pedestrian access between Charing Cross Road and Soho Square, and Creates 209,000 square feet of office space for over 2,000 workers.
Best Heritage or Culture Project
Winner: Strand Aldwych — Submitted by Westminster City Council in partnership with Northbank BID — Once a polluted gyratory, Strand is now a car-free place for people to enjoy. This transformation has freed glorified traffic island St Mary le Strand church and created a unique cultural civic landscape for the world-famous institutions nearby to share. Highly commended: Broadway Theatre — Submitted by London Borough of Lewisham.
Best Project for Sustainable Planning
Winner: SEGRO Park Tottenham — Submitted by SEGRO- SEGRO Park Tottenham is the most sustainable industrial scheme in London, built to the highest of standards, offering 8 units from 6,815 sq ft to 50,050 sq ft and achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating.
Highly commended: Strand Aldwych — Submitted by Westminster City Council in partnership with Northbank BID — The design replaces hard surfaces with permeable landscaping and water management partnered with increased biodiversity with 17 new trees, 1,025 shrubs, 8,366 herbaceous plants, 37,395 bulbs, 244 ferns, 3,739 grasses and 169 metres grassed areas.
Best Community Engagement Outcomes
Winner: Citizens House — Submitted by London CLT — Citizens House is an 11-home permanently affordable community land trust housing project in Lewisham created and designed by the community where homes are sold to local people at rates linked to average incomes in perpetuity.
Best Borough-led Project
Winner: Putting the public on top: A view for All — Elevated Public Realm in the City of London — Submitted by City of London Corporation — The City of London Corporation has consented 13 free to visit elevated public roof gardens, terraces and viewing galleries in major developments since 2018 borne out of radical new polices to deliver elevated views to all, delivering an inclusive, welcoming City.
Highly commended: Good Growth in Fore Street — Submitted by Enfield Council — A collection of targeted interventions around the high street to empower communities, revitalise the southern gateway into Enfield and create diverse opportunities within a deprived neighbourhood through new spaces for culture, play and work.
The Mayor’s Award for Good Growth
The winner for this category is chosen from the above category winners.
Winner: Strand Aldwych — Submitted by Westminster City Council in partnership with Northbank BID