Merton scoops top planning prize

In a sensational win, the London Borough of Merton has walked away with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Silver Jubilee Cup, planning’s top prize.

The win recognises the modern spatial nature of planning and of planners’ role in tackling climate change. The ‘MertonRule’ as it has become known requires developers to ensure at least 10% of all energy production for new development comes from renewable energy equipment on site.

Merton also won the award under the ‘Climate Change’ category.

Councillor Diane Neil-Mills, cabinet member for Housing and Regeneration said:

“I am absolutely delighted by the decision of the panel. I felt very privileged to attend the awards ceremony and believe that Merton is moving from strength to strength. Merton Council officers involved in the initiative deserve tremendous credit for this achievement.’

Kelvin MacDonald, RTPI director of policy and research said: “Tackling climate change must be at the heart of everything planners do. The Stern Report identified planning as one of the key methods of tackling climate change and the ‘MertonRule’ is certainly one of the reasons why. The public traditionally associate planning with the physical environment but I hope this award helps show people that planning contributes so much more.”

The RTPI Awards Judges said:

“The presentation to the judges took place on the hottest July day in recorded history, and this tended to concentrate the Panel’s minds. Merton’s experience is that there has been very little opposition from developers to the policy, and indeed some have been very keen to incorporate it into their schemes. It is extremely welcome to find imagination and innovation of this kind being displayed at local level and it shows that planners have the ability and potential to bring about change when they are given the opportunity. For these reasons, the judges consider the submission merits an Award and is the winner of the Silver Jubilee Cup.”