Great Kneighton wins prestigious planning industry award


Great Kneighton continues to attract industry acclaim as the new neighbourhood has been named as the winner in the category for Excellence in Planning to Deliver Homes (large schemes – 50 or more homes) at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2021.

This is the latest accolade awarded to Great Kneighton since it won Housing Project of the Year at the 2020 Building Awards.

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are among the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and its positive contributions to society. The winners were announced during a ceremony held virtually on Thursday 29 April 2021.

Great Kneighton is a contemporary sustainable community spread over 269 acres of the highly sought-after Cambridge southern fringe urban extension, which is served by the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway. Following years of careful planning, Countryside is now in the final stages of comprehensively transforming the previously inaccessible land next to Trumpington Village, into an interconnected mixed-use development of over 2500 new homes with enhanced facilities, improved access to the countryside, and enriched biodiversity for the whole community to call home.

The development boasts exemplary community facilities including a 120-acre country park, new secondary and primary school, central square with community building, health centre, shops, library and café all designed to make life here more inclusive.

The judges’ comments: “Great Kneighton is an inspiring, innovative planned urban extension which hosts considerable community benefits as well as well-planned housing and supporting uses. This project is an excellent example of the role of the contribution of planning with planning being involved from inception to delivery. The judges also noted the impressive level of affordable housing included within the project.”

Andrew Taylor, Planning Director, said: “I am immensely proud of the Countryside planning team for their dedicated and consistent efforts at building a visionary development in close collaboration with Cambridge City Council. It is highly encouraging to be recognised for our enthusiasm for green infrastructure and community involvement by the RTPI, an institution whose values deeply resonate with our own.”

RTPI President Wei Yang FRTPI said: “I would like to congratulate all of the winners at this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence who have demonstrated how planning is an essential public service for our community. The winners have acted beyond boundaries to make positive and impactful changes - a perfect way of showing the world the positive role planners play in our society.

“The fact that even during the pandemic we received so many entries is a testament to how the planning profession across the UK and around the world has stepped up to deliver innovative, place-based solutions to the challenges of health and wellbeing, climate change and the biodiversity decline, as well as housing and economic growth.”

Dyan Currie HonMRTPI, Chief Planner of Brisbane City Council and Chair of the judging panel, said: “With the world facing significant complex challenges, planning has become more important than ever before. The quality of entries in this year’s Awards was outstanding and the judges remain confident of the future of the profession during these challenging times.”

The RTPI champions the power of planning in creating prosperous places and vibrant communities. It is the only body in the UK that confers Chartered status to planners, the highest professional qualification sought after by employers. It supports its members – over 26,000 worldwide – throughout their careers.

Just under 12 months remain of the final build, which will see the delivery of a variety of apartments set around a podium garden, including a café/restaurant and further retail space. The exemplar community infrastructure will have a positive long-term impact on the environment and local economy, as well as making a considerable contribution towards Cambridge’s housing need by delivering 40% affordable homes.