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Channel rail link wins Mayor’s planning award for excellence

The London section of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, High Speed One, has received the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s Award for Planning Excellence at the London Planning Awards today.

The rail link stretching from London to the north of the Thames, before heading out into Kent, incorporates the restoration and modernisation of the Grade 1 Listed St Pancras Station, Stratford International Station, and the state of the art Temple Mills maintenance depot.

The project was selected because of the way that its meticulous and forward thinking planning had provided a major boost to East London and the Thames Gateway and regenerated St Pancras Station, acting as a major catalyst for the wider regeneration of this run down area of north London. It has also provided the key rail link to the 2012 Games but above all has changed attitudes towards rail travel and will help transform London and the UK for many generations to come.

The annual London Planning Awards, jointly run by the Mayor of London, London First, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and London Councils, are designed to recognise planning professionals and organisations that have made a vital contribution to the capital in making it a better place to live, work, do business and visit.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
‘I was looking forward to seeing entries that improve the quality of life for Londoners and I have not been disappointed. However, since we launched the awards, the economic climate has dramatically changed. I strongly believe that we must press ahead with planning and developing our city and particularly our major infrastructure projects to ensure London emerges from this downturn strong and competitive. And that is where our planners and designers have a major role to play so that we do not just build the functional and mundane but capture the imagination.

‘My award for planning excellence to the High Speed Project recognises truly great and inspirational planning and design. The beautiful St Pancras terminus alone is a masterpiece that perfectly matches the old with the new making a wonderful statement about London’s creativity and confidence to our visitors. But High Speed One is much more. It is first class planning that has changed the way we think about rail travel and will leave its mark on the capital and the whole UK throughout the 21st Century and beyond.”

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:
“Today’s awards recognise those who have fashioned the fabric of London, strengthening its position as the best city in the world in which to live and work. The developments rewarded today are not ‘here today – gone tomorrow’ fads.  Celebrated local developments have added immeasurably to London’s quality of life.  High Speed Rail has changed the face of rail travel in the UK.  When you arrive at St Pancras, you arrive in London in style. London Planning Awards showcase the best of London.”

Martin Willey, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said:
“The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is pleased to support the 2008 London Planning Awards, recognising the planning professionals and organisations achieving planning excellence throughout the capital. The remarkable field of winners, from local community projects to large awe-inspiring schemes demonstrates how planning is delivering real solutions and benefiting the UK as a whole.”

Councillor Merrick Cockell, Chairman of London Councils, said:
“I am delighted several of the winning projects were entered by London boroughs.

“These awards show how constructive teamwork between the public and private sectors can be and illustrate the important work of local government planners.  Planning plays a vital role in creating safe, clean and attractive places for Londoners to live, work and enjoy.

“It is pleasing that London Councils’ involvement in these awards for the first time this year has encouraged more boroughs across the capital to submit entries.”
Other categories and recipients in this year’s awards include:

Best Built Project (sponsored by CB Richard Ellis)

More London: A catalyst for the transformation of North Southwark, London Borough of Southwark

Commendation:  Lee Valley Athletics Centre, London Borough of Enfield and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

Best Built Project – Community Scale Scheme (sponsored by Land Securities)

Grassroots Centre, West Ham, Eger Architects

Commendation:  The City of London Information Centre, City of London

Best Conceptual Project (sponsored by Berwin Leighton Paisner)

Aldgate Masterplan, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Commendation:  Inclusive Design Strategy and Standards, Olympic Delivery Authority

Best New Public Space (sponsored by Lovells)

Cornmill Gardens, Lewisham, London Borough of Lewisham and BDP

Commendation:  Swallow and Vine Street Improvements, The Crown Estate

Best New Place to Live (sponsored by National House-Building Council)

Adelaide Wharf, First Base

Best Project to Protect Communities (sponsored by Arup)

The Cut – from through-route to destination, London Boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth and the Cross River Partnership

Best Built Project, Five Years On (sponsored by GVA Grimley)

Paternoster Square, Stanhope PLC

Notes to editors

1. The London Planning Awards, now in their sixth year, are run jointly by the Mayor, London First, the RTPI and London Councils, and 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

2. Visual materials including logos and pictures of shortlisted entries, previous winners and images of the 2007 Awards ceremony at City Hall are available upon request.  Please contact London First for more details

3. 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

4. London First delivers its activities with the support 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 a quarter of London’s GDP.

5. 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 21,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

6. London Councils lobbies on behalf of London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London to ensure that the local authorities role’s and resource needs are recognised and suitable to deliver the local governance that London needs.
For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: , 41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865, Scottish charity number – SC 037841.

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