Gold medal for Paul!


One of our directors has been recognised for his exceptional achievement in the field of town and country planning.

Paul Barnard, the Council’s Service Director for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, has been awarded the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Gold Medal, an award which has only been given 15 times in the RTPI’s history. Past recipients have included such luminaries as Sir Patrick Abercrombie, Sir Terry Farrell and Sir Peter Hall.

Paul was described by the RTPI as an ‘exceptional’ town planner, whose leadership, planning expertise, ability to innovate and sheer determination have resulted in planning services at Plymouth City Council now considered among the best in the country. Paul’s team has won the RTPI’s prestigious Silver Jubilee Cup three times in recent years, including in 2019 for the City Change Fund, a pioneering community infrastructure initiative which embraces crowdfunding technology.

Paul Barnard said: “I have always been proud of planning and proud of what we as planners achieve. Planning is an inherently democratic process and I am therefore extremely honoured to be awarded the Gold Medal which, for me, acknowledges what local authority planners deliver day in and day out for the communities that we serve.

“Plymouth has been awarded the RTPI Silver Jubilee Cup three times in recognition of the creativity and innovation we have shown in delivering our proactive, positive planning philosophy. It has been a privilege and pleasure to lead such a dedicated group of planning and other professionals who work in the best traditions of public service.

Chair of RTPI’s Board of Trustees Sue Bridge said: “It is significant that the RTPI is awarding the highest honour it can give to a local authority planner who has delivered so much through positive planning.”

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure said: “It doesn’t get much more prestigious than this. Paul joins a remarkable set of people who have won this award and we could not be any happier for him – or for Plymouth. It is thanks to his leadership that our planning service is repeatedly at the forefront of innovation, creativity and positive change.”