Commemorative plaques and certificates of commendation have been presented to the winners in this year’s Best Building Design Awards run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).
Buildings entered for the award – which aimed to promote examples of both innovative and sensitive developments – ranged from private houses and pubs to a domestic weaving studio and a barn.
YDNPA Chairman Carl Lis said one of the aims of the competition was to put across the message that the organisation, as the local planning authority, was very much open to good, new design and particularly encouraged innovative approaches – provided the setting was respected.
“It’s good to see the extent to which winning entries illustrate that quality is worth achieving in its own right,” he said.
“They illustrate the efforts gone to in terms of choice of materials, workmanship and so on – in many cases well beyond what we could ask for.
“It’s also good to see the high proportion of entries that are relatively small-scale developments – of the sort that make up the bulk of our application workload, and that, cumulatively, have a big impact on character of the National Park.
“It’s also encouraging to see that the majority of winning entries have benefited from early dialogue with our planning staff, into which we put a lot of resources."
The chairman of judges, independent architect Robin Snell, said: “The built environment of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with its unspoilt groups of traditional buildings and low proportion of new build, makes an important contribution to the character of this special place and the public’s enjoyment of it, and it is therefore important that new development fits in.
“But this does not have to imply dull conformity – there is room for creativity and flair within the constraints of maintaining respect for the setting.”
The winners of the six categories – innovation, energy sustainability, conversion, new building, extension or alteration and restoration – included nine homes and eight buildings in public use of various kinds.
YDNPA staff are continuing to write new guidance on building development within the National Park.
The Sustainable Development Guide will encourage people wanting to improve the sustainability of existing properties, carry out new building development as sustainably as possible, and produce sustainable energy, both for profit (including through farm diversification) and to help reduce national reliance on fossil fuels.
It will support existing planning policies for the area and set out in more detail how they can be applied.
It will also focus on the range of energy-generating technologies available to help meet national targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and will put them within the context of the overall need to promote energy efficiency.
The new Sustainable Development Guide will be available from 2011 on the Planning Policy section of www.yorkshiredales.org.uk