Regional recognition for Richard

Richard Riggs, Planning Officer at the Council

A Calderdale planning officer has received regional recognition, being named in the shortlist for the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Yorkshire Awards for Planning Excellence.

Richard Riggs, Principal Planning Officer at Calderdale Council has been recognised in the Young Planner of the Year category at the prestigious awards, which recognise and highlight the positive contributions of planning professionals.

The Young Planner of the Year award seeks out the brightest RTPI members in the early stages of their careers. The award recognises outstanding Young Planners who can demonstrate a contribution to planning or significant career achievements in recent years. 

Richard has been working in public sector planning since September 2020, and has experienced working in a wide range of geographies and communities, from coastal fishing villages to industrial town centres and the hills, valleys and moorlands of West Yorkshire.

He joined Calderdale Council in May 2023 and has worked on a range of major housing, commercial and energy infrastructure developments. He also has experience in more unique areas including reservoir planning and flood alleviation schemes through his work on the Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme. Richard has provided strategic advice and leadership for local authority and partner-led projects including the Elland Station Access Package to support active travel and access improvements for the planned new railway station in the town.

The award nomination highlights Richard’s enthusiasm and hard work in creating sustainable places. He also mentors other young planning officers, supporting them and identifying ways to broaden their skills and experiences. 

Richard’s work will be highlighted at the RTPI regional summer reception and awards event on Thursday 13 June in Sheffield. If he’s successful as Yorkshire Young Planner of the Year, Richard will then be entered into the national shortlist, with national finalists to be announced in mid-October and the winners honoured at a celebration ceremony taking place in London in November.

Calderdale Council’s Director for Regeneration and Strategy, Shelagh O’Neill, said:

“It’s wonderful news that Richard’s achievements have been recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute. Being named in the shortlist as Yorkshire’s Young Planner of the Year is such an accolade and very well deserved.

“Although relatively new to the planning service, Richard’s enthusiasm and hard work has seen him excel in his role, working with senior officers and sharing his experience with newer officers.  His passion for public sector planning is evident in his work and his efforts to learn and grow in his role.

“The positive contributions of Richard and his colleagues in the Council’s planning service help support council priorities of creating thriving towns and places and taking climate action – making sure necessary development is sustainable and improves the quality of people’s lives.”

Richard said:

“I’m thrilled to have been shortlisted for the award. This is the culmination of a lot of people investing their time, patience and trust in me over the past four years, for which I’m incredibly grateful. I plan to use this platform to pay these experiences forward to the next generation of Young Planners and help to raise the profile of public sector planning as a visible and exciting career opportunity for young people.”

To find out more about the RTPI Yorkshire Awards for Planning Excellence, visit link)

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