Two County Durham projects in line for top award

Two stunning County Durham developments are in the running for a major award.

Monday, 11th September 2017, 3:07 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 3:14 pm
Seaham Harbour Marina

Durham's new Freeman's Reach centre and Seaham Harbour Marina are among six new developments across the region, ranging from the regeneration of South Shields town centre to a sustainable sewage system for Morpeth, to be shortlisted for the region’s top planning award.

The six will be competing for the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East Awards for Planning Excellence. The winner will be announced on October 6.

Freeman's Reach

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Vikki Vansylvan, Chair of RTPI North East said: "The finalists provide a mix of outstanding examples of planning, showcasing the continued emergence of the north east of England as a place for planning excellence.

"Given the high calibre of entries this year, the judges will no doubt find it difficult to pick an overall winner."

The shortlist judges praised Freeman’s Reach for its awareness of its location.

"A £30million office-led mixed-use development to house Durham-based staff of National Savings and Investments and the Passport Office, it represents an extensive and complex private sector regeneration of a sensitive and vital area of Durham city centre," they said.

Freeman's Reach

And they singled out Seaham Harbour for its connection to the town it serves: "The facility provides a watersports changing facility, showers, kayak store and office space.

"Working with the local community is a key element of the project and for the overall running of the facilities."

The other developments shortlisted for the award are:

*The Word, South Shields;

*Walwick Hall Hotel, Humshaugh;

*North Morpeth Strategic Sewer;

* and North Tyneside Local Plan.

The RTPI North East Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate outstanding projects that demonstrate the power of planning. Entries reflect the diversity of planning achievement, whether in urban or rural areas, large or small in scale, involving new development, regeneration or conservation. Entries come from the public, private and community sectors.