Whitehill & Bordon’s Green Loop scooped two more planning industry awards, just a month after its last prestigious win.
The Green Loop is a 7km network of walking and cycling paths allowing walkers, runners and cyclists to get around the town.
Last week, the project was recognised with two wins in the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South East Awards, in Brighton – Best Project and Joint Winner of the Best in Region category.
This success follows hot on the heels of another big win in the national Planning Awards in June.
And there could be more silverware to come, as the double win at the RTPI awards means the project has now been entered into the National Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Planning Excellence.
The Green Loop and wayfinding project was managed in partnership by East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, Whitehill Town Council, Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company and used local company Urban Place Lab. It was funded from the EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and developers’ contributions.
Its interconnecting network of paths make it easy for residents to go from point to point without needing their car, encouraging sustainable travel and reducing car use and congestion.
Helping people navigate around the paths are a series of totems, benches and blocks. They are bespoke to Whitehill & Bordon, using locally significant materials and motifs that reflect the history of the area.
The two RTPI award categories were Best Project and Best in Region.
Best Project – Judges were impressed with the use of digital media to enhance the Green Loop.
An active travel app, called BetterPoints, allows residents to monitor their activity and earn rewards. The app encourages and motivates users to increase their levels of activity and, in so doing, improve their mental and physical health.
Judges were also impressed by a Whitehill Town Council project to collect drone footage of the pathways, representing a day in the life on the Green Loop and its many diverse users.
Best in Region – A joint win with a project from Milton Keynes Council. Judges thought the winning schemes provided an excellent basis for planning authorities and developers to look to as an example of best practice for similar approaches in their own areas.
Cllr Phillip Davies, EHDC’s Assistant Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said:
“What an incredible success! To win one award was fantastic but to pick up two more is unbelievable!
“It’s great to see the team’s hard work being recognised and rewarded, but the most important thing to remember is that we have delivered something special for the people of Whitehill & Bordon, that is highly regarded across the region. Other towns and authorities have seen what we are doing and they are taking note, that is really something to be proud of.”
Councillor Edward Heron, the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Transport and Environment Strategy, said:
“It is wonderful news that this thoughtfully designed local network, which encourages active travel, has rightfully been recognised at the Royal Town Planning institute (RTPI) Awards. We have been delighted to work with our partners to make the vision a reality. We are pleased to have played our part, in the creation of a new and thriving town, built on sustainable principles and for greener, healthier living. I extend my congratulations for this award to them all.
“Since the beginning of the town’s transformation, with redevelopment of the former army barracks at its centre, we have worked in close partnership with East Hampshire District Council (EHDC), Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company and Whitehill Town Council to deliver key infrastructure to support the growing local community.”
James Child, Project Director at Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, said:
“We take great care over every decision we make, not least when it comes to planning, so we’re delighted with the judges’ comments regarding the more nuanced aspects of the Green Loop, such as the integration of the BetterPoints travel app.
“If the work we’re doing in Whitehill & Bordon does indeed offer inspiration for similar projects across the UK, we will feel very proud indeed. And we’d like to offer a huge congratulations to Milton Keynes Council, with whom we share the Best in Region award.”
Cllr Andy Tree, Whitehill Town Council Leader, said:
“Seeing Whitehill & Bordon win awards is always a pleasure as Whitehill Town Council continues to work with all the other organisations involved to constantly strive to serve our residents. Congratulations to all those involved in receiving this significant recognition.”
James Gross, Founder/Director, of Urban Place Lab, said:
“This is fantastic news! To win a second award, in the best project category no less, and go on to national finals is surely a testimony to the passion and commitment that local people have put into this project.
“We are grateful to East Hampshire District Council for having pulled the submission together, and along with our project partners Feria Urbanism and Wolfstrome Design, remain delighted to have been part of something that is making a healthy difference to people’s lives locally in Whitehill & Bordon.”