The team was praised by judges at the Planning Awards 2014 for the way they “juggled a wide range of demands in handling 2,000 planning and related applications in the last year”. They went on to say that they were “impressed with how a development management team can be dynamic, engaging and make a difference”.
The team was also commended in the Strategic Planning Award category, largely for their work on the Council’s joint plans with Rochford District Council to develop business space for over 6,000 new jobs in the area round Southend International Airport.
Peter Geraghty, Head of Planning and Transport, said: “I am delighted and proud that our planning team have been successful and their tremendous contribution has been recognised at a national level.
“Planning is an area of work that retains a high level of interest both locally and nationally and it requires skilled and expert professionals to deliver. It is great that the quality of the Council’s planning service has been recognised in this way.”
Councillor Mike Assenheim, Executive Councillor for Regulatory Control, echoed Mr Geraghty’s sentiments. He said: “This award confirms what those close to the planning team have known for quite some time: that we have a top-notch team of planners who consistently deliver, often in challenging circumstances.
“Councillors rely on sound advice from planners in order to ensure we can make the right decisions for the future prosperity of the town.
“This award gives me a great deal of reassurance that the advice and guidance councillors receive from officers is the best in its class at a time when we make crucial decisions about the town’s regeneration. I would like to personally congratulate the team for this well-deserved recognition.”