2017 Awards

Civic Voice announces shortlist of 18 schemes for Civic Voice Design Awards

Shortlist includes a housing development in a World Heritage Site, creative re-use of a set of historic underground tunnels and a treetop walkway

Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic movement, has today announced the shortlist for the third annual Civic Voice Design Awards. 18 schemes from across England have been shortlisted by the expert judging panel for their high-quality design and positive impact on the local community. The awards are sponsored by British Land and Farrells.

This year the judges commented that six lessons are starting to come through from the Design Awards, that can be applied to almost any other project, no matter how big or small.

Historic Environment is not a barrier to growth - From the shortlisted schemes, we have ten schemes in a Conservation Area and one in a World Heritage Site, showing that the historic environment is an asset not a barrier to growth and high quality new development can be successfully integrated within historic settings.

Partnership working between the public, private and voluntary sectors is key - It is clear from many past winners and this year's shortlist that working in partnership across sectors, can have a positive impact on the quality of the built environment in our towns, villages and cities.

Early collaborative engagement – Real positive examples of community groups being involved at an early stage in the process and influencing the final scheme are starting to emerge but we want see more and for this to become the Civic Voice standard across the country! Read Civic Voice guidance on collaborative planning here. 

Leadership and mindset - Individuals in the public, private and voluntary sectors have been at the forefront of schemes, driving forward new ideas by asking, "How can we do this better?" or "What can we do as a community to tackle this problem?"

Paying for an architect, pays results - The judges felt that it was clear when an architect had been commissioned on housing developments and they were encouraged to see Crest Nicholson using Alison Brooks Architects to design a housing scheme in Bath, but questioned, why is this the exception and not the norm?

Finally, we are still not seeing large scale housing developments coming forward that communities are proud of and want to support. The judges wondered whether we ever will?

We will delve into each of these issues over the next few weeks in our communications to members as we lead up to the Civic Voice Design Award ceremony in the summer.