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Two senior planners based at our Ashby office, Antonia Wyatt and James Beverley, will be celebrating at a ceremony at the Albert Hall in Nottingham on Wednesday 20 July at the East Midlands regional final of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2022.

The awards recognise and reward the brightest talent in the profession; the most outstanding projects, teams and people helping to transform economies, environments, and communities and focus on rewarding the excellent work done from across the profession.

And with Antonia and James being the only two shortlisted in this category in the East Midlands, we are delighted that one of them will go on to become a finalist in the national competition later this year.

Antonia is dedicated to raising the profile of RTPI in the infrastructure sector through excellent client service and professional development. Across a broad range of schemes including waste and water management, oil, telecommunications and green energy projects, Antonia has built a solid reputation with an impressive 100% planning approval rating. She specialises is advising on potential constraints and the use of permitted development rights to deliver often-complex schemes, working closely with clients from the outset to identify the best design solutions and ensure the delivery of critical infrastructure can begin without delay. As a mentor to planning graduates and Chair of the Pipeline Industries Guild’s Professional Development Network, she is raising the profile of the RTPI and inspiring young professionals in planning.

She is one of very few RTPI planners who is also a member of the Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG), a professional network for the infrastructure sector. She is Chair (Midlands Branch) of the Professional Development Network (PDN) for young professionals within PIG. In this role, she promotes planning as a critical part of wider infrastructure work. She also organises, promotes, and chairs the annual Sir John Parker competition which gives young people in the industry the platform to submit and present on an area they are working on.

Antonia said: “It’s great to be recognised for the work we do in the planning team, I am thrilled to have reached the finals and am looking forward to meeting the other finalists at the event in Nottingham.”

James Beverley is another experienced planner who is committed to providing an excellent client service. James demonstrates real creativity and compassion in strategic development, understanding the importance of community engagement and ensuring everyone has a voice in the planning process. As an active RTPI member and Co-Chair for the East Midlands Young Planners committee, he is a role model for the profession and dedicates substantial time to developing younger planners.

James prides himself on building relationships in the local community, making time to answer parishioners’ questions and providing detailed explanations, which has resulted in pacifying many opponents. His forte is in his technical knowledge of planning policy and development management. He is the team ‘guru’ for preparing detailed representations in support of promoting land and in objection of other sites that would be in conflict, and he is also a mentor to young planners going through their chartership process. It is this originality of approach which makes James stand out and his opinion is highly respected by our development agency team.

James added: “We all work hard to create exceptional places and have a positive impact on the community and the environment, it is great to have our work recognised and rewarded.”

Nia Borsey, Senior Planner at our Chester office and Melissa Balk, Associate at our Bedford office, both won their regional finals and will now go through to the national finals to be held later in the year.

Liberty Stones, Head of Planning said: “It’s great to see our planners shortlisted for East Midlands Young Planner of the Year and we were thrilled that both Nia and Melissa won their regional final. I am proud to be part of a hardworking, proactive, and successful team who all deserve recognition for the work they do. It is wonderful to see The RTPI awards celebrate young planners and their contribution to the industry.”

Finalists for all 15 categories will be announced in October followed by a final ceremony in central London in November.