His Majesty The King recognises built environment “legacy” projects with long-term good at heart
UK landowners, developers and local groups who prioritise building walkable, mixed communities to to improve their local area were commended at a ceremony in North Cornwall on Thursday [October 5] as the built environment thought leader The Prince’s Foundation staged the second edition of The President’s Awards – part of the charity’s Building A Legacy movement.
The awards scheme sees candidates nominated by individuals and by The Prince’s Foundation, with winners chosen by charity founder His Majesty The King Charles III. The objective of recognition is to share best practice, raise awareness of legacy activities across the UK, and raise standards of quality of place around the country.
Planning With Nature was the theme of this year’s awards, with Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England giving the keynote speech and pointing to the growing evidence of the positive impacts of nature based solutions on human health and the environment in general. With the changing climate making overheating and flooding issues of existing homes there are simple and effective natural solutions to help with shading and water management that need integrating into the design process.
Kristina Murrin, CEO of The Prince’s Foundation, presented the awards at the Headland Hotel which followed a daytime tour for delegates by the Duchy of Cornwall of The Prince’s Foundation-led development of nearby Nansledan. The winners were named as Tornagrain Community Association (The Community Award), Kevin Murch of CG Fry (Key Role Award), and Cornwall’s own Places For People Trevethow Riel (Landowner Award). Each award-winner was presented with a bronze award created by two alumni of The Prince’s Foundation’s traditional building skills programmes: woodcarver Sarah Goss and caster Stephen Coles.
The awards and their winners and runners-up were as follows:
The Community Award – for outstanding contribution to community activities – was won once again by a Scottish project, with Tornagrain Community Association (TCA) succeeding 2022 winners Chapelton. TCA exists to support the residents, businesses and larger community of Tornagrain, a sustainable village within the Scottish Highlands, near Inverness. They encourage and facilitate the development of a strong, thriving and inclusive community in Tornagrain, with a focus on wellbeing and sustainability, working with the local community to organise and promote community activities and events, help manage some community resources, and share local news and information. Membership is free and open to all.
The Key Role Award – for an outstanding contribution to delivering the project – was claimed by CG Fry’s Kevin Murch, who followed 2022 winner Peter James. Kevin, a construction director, delivers developments of high quality in line with The Duchy of Cornwall’s aspirations. Industry luminary Hugh Petter, of Adam Architecture, said: “Kevin has built up a team of the highest quality around himself and is meticulous in everything he does. He has been unfailingly patient and obliging at Nansledan, helping us to explore more sustainable materials and methods of building; in ensuring close adherence to local idiosyncratic vernacular detailing; in integrating bird nesting boxes, and generally to driving up and then maintaining very high standards of construction by working collaboratively with local sub-contractors. He has played a very significant role in the success of Nansledan and, in my view, he is an ideal candidate for the President’s Awards.”
The Landowner Award – for guiding and delivering the conservation area of tomorrow – was given to Places For People, developers of Trevethow Riel (Cornish for “royal residence”), which brings together community, architectural tradition and outstanding quality in a contemporary context. The development was conceived by local architect Ben Pentreath and created by ZeroC on land owned by The Duchy of Cornwall. The development pays homage to the quality and character of traditional homes and craftsmanship while delivering modern standards of security, durability and insulation. The result is a beautiful collection of 102 homes, including stylish houses and spacious apartments, offering a Georgian-style façade, fantastic views across the verdant landscape and the city of Truro. This award was won in 2022 by Tornagrain, with landowner The Earl of Moray collecting the top prize for “an enduring and sustainable town, which builds on the architectural and planning traditions of Scotland and the Highlands”.
Pictured (left to right) are award-winners Kevin Murch of CG Fry & Son, Ann Darlington and Sue Turner of Tornagrain Community Association and Tash Priddle of Places For People (by Harvey Bentham).
Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, said “Where we all live is one of the most important things to determine people’s wellbeing. This is not only about the individual dwellings which people inhabit, but also the health of the residential environments that so fundamentally shape how we feel."
"It is vital to draw attention to the positive synergies between nature and built developments and The Prince’s Foundation’s awards are an excellent way to do this, not only reflecting expert judgement as to where leadership is being demonstrated but also bringing the inspiration of His Majesty The King, who over so many years has done so much to drive awareness and progress in creating harmonious places."
“The mission of The Prince’s Foundation’s Building A Legacy initiative is to increase the number of landowners following the Legacy principles of development in building beautiful, mixed-use, mixed-income, walkable places for future generations,” explains Ben Bolgar, executive director (projects) for The Prince’s Foundation. “We do this through research, education, championing, networking and practising the Legacy principles on the ground.
Building A Legacy was created by The Prince’s Foundation’s senior architects, designers and placemaking professionals after the charity’s founder HRH The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales challenged them to look into increasing the number of mixed-used and mixed-income communities. As a result, The Prince’s Foundation convened a wide range of development expertise and discovered the intentions of landowners and their advisers, and their ability to stay patient and build non-residential uses over time was key to building walkable communities.
To read The Prince’s Foundation’s 2018 prospectus Building A Legacy, click here. Building a Legacy: A Landowner’s Guide to Popular Development sets out a model of development aimed at creating social and economic value over the long term and is accompanied by 14 principles that have evolved from those set out originally in the Vision of Britain.
Also pictured in main image is Trevethow Riel.