19 June 2017
The Army Basing Programme (ABP) has won a prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South West Award for ‘Excellence in Decision Making in Planning’. The award was jointly submitted by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), global consultancy WYG and Wiltshire Council.
The ABP, a joint Army and DIO programme, is providing the facilities to enable nearly 100 Army units to relocate, reconfigure, disband or re-role to bring all Army units back from Germany by 2020, saving £240m per year.
Across Salisbury Plain, the ABP will provide living and technical accommodation for around 4,000 Service personnel and their families. Plans include over 2,500 bed spaces for single soldiers, more than 1,300 new Service family homes and the construction, conversion or refurbishment of nearly 250 buildings, such as offices, garages, workshops and mess facilities.
DIO and the Army continue to work closely with Wiltshire Council to develop and deliver the required infrastructure and to help ensure local services are in place as units move. DIO commissioned WYG and GVA to produce a masterplan, working alongside Wiltshire Council and in full consultation with the local community which helped shape the plan and the subsequent suite of planning applications across Salisbury Plain.
Stephen Harness, a Senior Town Planner at DIO, said: “We are delighted to have won this award. The Army Basing Programme has been a huge success. There has been a shared determination amongst all parties to make the project happen in a very short timescale; and a commitment to work together in a collaborative way from the earliest stages of the project.”
Baroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: “There has been a strong spirit of co-operation between ourselves, MOD and partners to deliver this huge and complex programme, and we are all extremely proud to have won the RTPI award. It recognises the combined effort of the team to clearly identify the development needed and encourage community engagement in the delivery of these plans as we prepare to welcome the additional Service personnel and their families to Wiltshire.”
Christopher Tennant, WYG Director and Town Planning Lead on the project, said: “We are extremely proud that this important project has been recognised by the RTPI. The project will have an enduring and positive legacy for Salisbury Plain.”
Nick Harrison, Director at GVA and planning adviser to Aspire Defence on development ‘behind the wire’ said: “This award demonstrates the success of this project, which could only have been achieved through a genuinely collaborative approach between all parties, and an unwavering determination to make the shared vision a reality. We are proud to have been involved.”
Mike Oakley, Chair of the RTPI SW Awards Judging Panel 2017, commented: “Winning at this year’s awards is a stamp of excellence from the region’s planners. It is an acknowledgement of the positive impact planning has had on the community and environment. Winning this year was particularly difficult given that the standard of submissions for the 2017 Awards was the highest in the 25 years.”
The award entry was dedicated to the memory of WYG Planning Director David Alderson who led the project from its inception. David sadly passed away last spring.