Heyford Park in Upper Heyford has reason to celebrate after it was announced as a finalist in the category for Excellence in Planning to Deliver Homes- Large Schemes at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2019. These awards, which have been running for over 40 years, are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry, celebrating exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.
As a former airbase vacated by the United States Air Force in 1994, the 500 hectare property is set in North Oxfordshire, 16 miles from Oxford. The site was acquired by Dorchester Living in 2009 and they have been focussed on planning and delivering a masterplan for the regeneration of Heyford Park. Their strategy is to provide high quality new homes while working with the existing community to provide employment opportunities, schooling and leisure facilities, being sympathetic in keeping the story of the history of the site. Paul Silver, CEO of Dorchester Living said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award. At Heyford Park, we have a statute of responsibility to create both a physical and social infrastructure that works for everyone and puts the needs of the community first. We’re creating a legacy to be enjoyed for generations, making more attractive spaces that serve the community the best way they can.”
The planning of a town involves many aspects from buildings and structural concerns to community and social requirements. Planners today have to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time including population growth, environmental issues and climate change, and RTPI confirms that it has never been more important to reward the contributions of the profession to society. RTPI president Ian Tant said: ‘’Many congratulations to all this year’s finalists, who demonstrate outstanding contributions to planning, producing a positive effect on our communities, the economy and the environment. They have shown how planners can use their passion and skills to meet needs, deliver high quality design and tackle environmental challenges- they should all be proud of their role as a force for good in society.”
The awards are sponsored by big names in the housing development world such as AECOM and Savills who are proud to be associated with some of the most innovative and effective planning projects of the past year. The winners will be announced during a ceremony held at Milton Court Concert Hall in London on April 24.