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'Outstanding' Thames Tideway Tunnel scoops top planning prize

Thames Tideway Tunnel was praised by judges as it scooped the top prize at the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence.

The project received the Silver Jubilee Cup and the title of overall winner at the awards last night (6 July), while also landing an award for Excellence in Planning for Creating Economically Successful Places.

Phil Stride, External Affairs Director at Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: "The awards are excellent peer recognition of the fantastic team effort, over many years, involved in obtaining a Development Consent Order. We can now get on and build the tunnel.

"Planning for such a huge project, requiring 24 construction sites across 14 London boroughs, was a huge task. Our team has been dedicated to engaging with communities and listening to people from the beginning, and we are delighted their hard work has been recognised."

Thames Water started consultation on the project in 2010 and, following 114 days of public exhibitions and over 200 meetings, the biggest planning application ever submitted in the UK was handed to the Government for consideration in February 2012.

The project, up against a record number of entries, was praised by judges for overcoming obstacles in planning such a complex project.

Janet Askew, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) said: "The Thames Tideway Tunnel is an outstanding example of world-class infrastructure being brilliantly delivered with a huge contribution from the planners involved.

"This worthy winner of our award also impressed with a very positive approach to public engagement, and will result in the vital upgrading of London’s sewers that will have an impact that will last for many years to come."

Nick Raynsford, a former planning minister, and Chair of Judges this year said: "The Thames Tideway Tunnel is an exceptional solution to an extremely complicated planning problem. It is an outstanding winner of the Silver Jubilee Cup in what was a very strong field.

"The very high quality of finalists this year made selecting the winners in each of the categories challenging."