Judges have announced the winners of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) Best Building Design Award competition.
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.
Andrew McCullagh, the YDNPA’s Deputy Head of Planning, said: “We had some interesting and unusual schemes that were exciting, stimulating and innovative but, at the same time, were sympathetic to the beautiful landscape of the National Park.
“The judges were very impressed with the overall high standard of entries and decided that, in some categories, this should be reflected by having more than one winner.
“One of the aims of the competition was to put across the message that the YDNPA, as the planning authority, is much more open to good, new design than perhaps people think and that we particularly encourage innovative approaches – provided the setting is respected.
“We wanted to emphasise that this doesn’t mean that traditional building styles and materials always have to be replicated. We also wanted to highlight the fact that energy sustainability is an important consideration in overall design, and that some compromises in external appearance to achieve this may be acceptable.”
Stuart Parsons, the YDNPA’s Member Champion for Cultural Heritage, said: “The winning buildings clearly demonstrate our residents' commitment to excellence and innovation. All the designs submitted are exceptional and are also way beyond what I would have imagined possible within a National Park.
“Good designs sit perfectly in an outstanding landscape and that is what we have been lucky enough see in our National Park."
Anyone who had been involved in or knew of a development that had been completed in the last seven years, and which they considered to have been particularly successful in achieving a high standard of design, was invited to submit a nomination in any of six categories: innovation, energy sustainability, conversion, new building, extension or alteration and restoration.
The judging panel comprised Stuart Parsons and Andrew McCullagh and independent architects Robin Snell and Paul Crosby and they visited 20 shortlisted properties throughout the National Park including nine homes and eight buildings in public use of various kinds.
An awards event, at which winners will be presented with commemorative plaques, is planned for the end of November to coincide with the publication of a colour brochure giving details of the winning buildings.
The competition results come as YDNPA staff continue writing new guidance on building development within the National Park.
The Sustainable Development Guide will offer help and encouragement to 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
The winners of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Best Building Design Award competition were:
Winner: Ecopod, How Beck Barn, Barden
Winner: Dales Bike Centre, Fremington
Winners (joint): Hartley Barn, Long Preston
The Old Blacksmith’s Shop, Aysgarth
Winner: Weaving Studio, High Brigflatts,Sedbergh
Highly Commended: Craven Arms Cruck Barn, Appletreewick
Extension or Alteration
Winners (joint) Extension: Ronan Garth, West Burton
Hawes Junction Chapel, Garsdale
Winner Alteration: Hambledon House, Airton
Highly Commended: West Burton Primary School
Winner (Historic Restoration): Hogg House, Healaugh
Winner (Restoration for Re-use): Reachey, Grisedale