The new Essex Design Guide (EDG) has been crowned the winner in the 2019 Planning Awards in the category of the Award for Design Excellence. The national awards recognise best practice in placemaking and planning — the Town Planning equivalent of winning the ‘Premier League’.
Originally created in 1973, the EDG has always pioneered local design, innovation and encouraged high-quality development. The 2018 version has been transformed as an interactive website ensuring content can be quickly and easily refreshed. While retaining the core design principles of the original, the new version has incorporated content on a range of new themes including Active Design Principles, Ageing Population, Health and Wellbeing, Digital and Smart Technology, and Garden Communities. On announcing the winner the judges said that ‘The Essex Design Guide is like an old friend that has been reborn.’
Produced by Place Services on behalf of the Essex Planning Officers Association (EPOA), the new Essex Design Guide was created collaboratively with the input of all Essex local authorities, representatives of house builders, the NHS, Police, Sport England and the Building Research Institute.
With the new online format, the Essex Design Guide now has just fewer than 4,000 users per month with it being accessed from all over the world as a planning resource.
Graham Thomas, Chairman of EPOA and Head of Planning at Essex County Council said: “I am thrilled to receive this recognition which demonstrates that Essex local authorities are determined to lead the way in driving good quality development and creating well-balanced and great places for people to live, work and enjoy.”
Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning added: “With Essex predicted to grow by 180,000 homes, the Essex Design Guide is a key document that local authorities and house builders will want to use to help ensure we create great places which people will value, and where they will want to live. My congratulations go to everyone who contributed to making it such a success, particularly the Chief Planners who work so hard on behalf of their local communities.”
Picture above shows (left to right) Cllr Gagan Mohindra, Dominic Collins, Director of Economic Growth and Localities, Graham Thomas, Head of Planning at Essex County Council, Chair of the Essex Planning Officers’ Association.