Wild Atlantic Way and Community Development Group also reap success at planning awards
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A landmark planning scheme to regenerate Dublin’s Docklands – bringing new communities and businesses to the area – has won the overall national award at this year’s National Planning Awards.

The North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme by planners at Dublin City Council is the biggest urban redevelopment and regeneration project in the history of the state and is now seeing multiple planning permissions being granted across the area.

The North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock masterplan was approved by An Bord Pleanála and will provide for 2,600 residential units and up to 360,000 sq. metres of office space, as well as retail, community and public amenity facilities which will create 23,000 jobs.

The winners are being announced tonight at the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) National Planning Awards in Dublin.

IPI president Deirdre Fallon said the winning entry represented the challenges Ireland has faced in its economic crash and how best to overcome development and regeneration challenges.

‘Biggest stalled urban redevelopment and regeneration project in history of state’


“Following the wind-up of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) in 2012 this was the biggest stalled urban redevelopment and regeneration project in the history of the state. Against massive challenges a multi-disciplinary Dublin City Council Team delivered. More than 60 per cent of the plan area is now benefitting from permissions granted giving a sustainable vision to this major part of the city.”

“There has been a lot of criticism of planning in Ireland, however the entrants at this years Irish Planning Awards show highly positive planning which contribute to quality of life for both urban and rural citizens and these examples can positively influence all practice across Ireland.”

Other winners of note include Fáilte Ireland for the Wild Atlantic Way tourism brand which co-ordinated a tourism route stretching approximately 2,500km along Ireland’s Atlantic coast. The Wild Atlantic Way won the Tourism and Economic Development category and was commended for showing the opportunities for co-ordinated regional development and also its focus on balanced economic growth.

“The Wild Atlantic Way represents a truly regional planning initiative. We welcome its scale, stakeholder and local authority engagement and ambition and commend its emphasis on balancing economic growth with protecting and enhancing the authenticity of the wild and natural environments,” the judges said.

A voluntary community group in Ballina Killaloe won an award in the Opportunity and Empowerment category. The Clarisford Park facility is developed and operated by Ballina Killaloe Sports and Recreational Facilities Development Ltd. to address a lack of amenities in the local area. Community volunteers developed and operate a facility consisting of playing fields and training pitches, a running/walking trail, sports hall and community park in Ballina Killaloe.

‘Excellent example of community-led infrastructure provision’


“This is an excellent example of community led infrastructure provision and was developed following positive engagement with Clare County Council, elected members, planners and local groups and clubs. Clarisford Park’s multifunctional approach is an excellent model of maximising the use of scarce land and resources, avoiding duplication and empowering and connecting communities. It is a model for the development of future community sports facilities,” the judges said.

The President’s Choice Award went to Fingal County Council for training in planning and mapping skills it has provided to planners in Lesotho. For the past three years Fingal County Council been working to upskill local planners in the use of planning practice and state of the art information and mapping systems, with a particular focus on climate change.

Fallon said the project has involved formal training of all urban planners in  Lesotho and has also mapped the whole country using the latest GIS planning systems. IPI has also taken part in the project by helping to establish a new national planning Institute in Lesotho.

“This is unique initiative spearheaded by Fingal County Council supporting the work of the Action Ireland Trust charity in Lesotho which could be replicated in different countries by local authorities throughout Ireland. It acknowledges and supports the importance of a properly functioning planning profession and system within a developing country.”

Full list of winners:


Category 1: Plan Making 

Winner: Longford Country Council

Project: Longford County Development Plan 2015-2021

The Longford County Development Plan 2015-2021 by Longford County Council was commended for being the first development plan in Ireland to receive the plain English stamp from the National Adult Literacy agency (NALA).

The judges commended the team at Longford County Council and said the plan is a model on how a complex, multifaceted planning document can be made accessible to the community.

The Longford County Development Plan came into effect in March 2015 and represents the most important policy document for the county as an agreed strategy for its economic, social, cultural and environmental future.

The judges said: “The plan includes summaries using NALA’s plain English guidelines at the start of each chapter and helpful questions and answers, written with simple short sentences. The maps are clear and stunning images from local photographers are included. This makes the plan highly accessible and engaging for the public and also assists them in understanding the art of good planning.”

Category 2: Opportunity and Empowerment 

Winner: Ballina Killaloe Sports and Community Facilities Development

Project: Clarisford Park

Category 3: Planning and Media Communications

Winner: Irish Independent, Paul Melia and Philip Ryan

Project: Future Proof, Planning Where we Live

Paul Melia and Philip Ryan of the ‘Irish Independent’ won a Planning and Media Communications award for their series ‘Future Proof – Planning Where We Live’ which demonstrated the impact of planning on the day to day quality of life of people – their health, home and childcare.

The judges commended the series as robust and factual and said that it broke down complex issues presenting them in a manner which citizens and communities could understand, enabling them to contribute to debate on planning in an informed and responsive manner.

The judges said: “The use of online polls, videos and social media were particularly useful in engaging readers. 5,000 responded to the online polls and 20,000 people a day viewed an interactive zoning map. The level of reader engagement showed that quality journalism can effect change in policy and attitudes for the better.”

Category 4: Responsive Urban and Rural Design

Winner and Overall winner: Dublin City Council

Project: North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme

Category 5: Emerging Sustainable Technologies

Winner: iCon Architecture with Cummins and Voortman

Project: Village Framework Development Plan for Rowlestown

The Village Development Plan for Rowlestown by iCon Architecture with Cummins and Voortman won the Emerging Sustainable Technologies category and particularly impressed the judges with how technology was used.

The judges commended the virtual model which was created for the entire village which served as a canvas on which changes to the village were tested and developed.

The judges said: “Building Information Modelling was used to model the terrain, existing buildings, proposed sites, shadow studies, and wind patterns allowing proposals to be tested and validated. Interactive visualisations and drive through video showcases enabled the community to engage and assist in decision making.”

Category 6: Smart Travel

Winner: South Dublin County Council

Project: Walking and Cycling to School Pilot Project, Ballyboden Schools Cluster

Category 7: Tourism and Economic Development

Winner: Fáilte Ireland

Project: Wild Atlantic Way

Category 8: Planning for Climate Change

Winner: South Dublin County Council

Project: South Dublin Spatial Energy Demand Analysis

South Dublin County Council won a Smart Travel Award for its Walking and Cycling to School Pilot Project in Ballyboden because it highlighted the importance of getting local communities behind a project and putting theory into practice.

South Dublin Council won a second award in the Planning for Climate Change category for developing a spatial energy demand analysis of the area.

The judges said that too often there can be more emphasis in smarter travel initiatives on simply providing infrastructure rather than working to find out how local communities view the alternatives of walking, cycling and public transport.

The judges said: “In the project planners moved out of their offices to work proactively with school management and local communities in Ballyboden, listening to their ideas and then putting these into the design. Other planning authorities would benefit from studying the ways that South Dublin County Council went about its work.

“South Dublin County Council’s second award for its Spatial Energy Demand Analysis provides an understanding of energy needs, energy efficiency and renewable energy responses across the commercial, residential and municipal sectors in the county which provides a template for local authorities in planning strategically to reduce carbon usage.”

Category 9: International Innovation

Winner: SLR Consulting

Project: East Pit/Lakes at Rhosamman Regeneration & Wales and Paisley Town Centre Heritage Asset Strategy

SLR Consulting, which is based in Dublin and Belfast, won the International Innovation category for two projects that it carried out abroad, one in setting out a strategy for Paisley Town Centre in Scotland and the other masterplanning the future development of a former coal pit in Wales.

The judges said that both projects worked with communities to take bold and enterprising approaches to creating new and vibrant places.

President’s Choice

Winner: Fingal County Council

Project: Lesotho Planning and Mapping Project

http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/aaacav1-1024x632.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/aaacav1-300x300.jpgDavid O'RiordanNewsawards,Dublin,Dublin City Council,planning
  A landmark planning scheme to regenerate Dublin’s Docklands – bringing new communities and businesses to the area – has won the overall national award at this year’s National Planning Awards. The North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme by planners at Dublin City Council is the biggest urban redevelopment...