LIVERPOOL Waterfront has today (16 December) been crowned the overall winner in England’s Great Places, a nationwide competition organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) to show off the diverse places that planners and the planning system have created, protected and enhanced for communities. Over 11,000 people voted on a shortlist of 10 places, with Liverpool Waterfront emerging as the most popular place. Thame High Street in Thame, Oxfordshire and Saltaire, the World Heritage Site-designated historic village near Bradford are second and third respectively. Presenting the award to Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member of Regeneration, Transport and Climate Change, at Albert Docks today, RTPI President Janet Askew said: “Liverpool’s leaders and all those involved should be congratulated for showing what planning and planners can do to make the most out of England’s stunning heritage to create vibrant, beautiful places for people to live and work. Coming as I do from Merseyside, I know that the Liverpool Waterfront, a source of immense civic pride, has a special place in the heart of Liverpudlians, as the popularity of the competition has shown. I am delighted that Liverpool’s World Heritage Site, as the embodiment of Liverpool’s proud maritime history and recognised the world over, has been voted as England’s Greatest Place. “It is a timely reminder, against a backdrop of budget cuts to local councils, how vital planning is, and how desperately important it is to ensure that planning is properly resourced to be at the heart of society.” Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been voted as one of England’s greatest places. “Our waterfront is an iconic location recognised around the world, with millions of tourists heading to the World Heritage Site each year to visit the attractions and businesses who have made the area a unique experience. As a city, we don’t stand still, and over the past ten years Liverpool has been transformed through a number of regeneration projects, some of which has taken place in and around the waterfront. Due to the nature and status of the area, these investments are always dealt with sensitively and the developments only go ahead if they add value to the city and the people who live, work and visit here. “This accolade is recognition of the work of all of our partners including the Waterfront Partnership to strive to ensure the area reaches its full and breath-taking potential.” Joanne Harding, Chair of the RTPI North West, said: “It is not surprising that Liverpool’s Waterfront has been voted England’s Greatest Place. The Waterfront is fabulous, it is iconic and it is loved by many. The changes that it has seen over the last 30 years have been carefully planned and delivered to provide the vibrant waterfront we enjoy today. We are proud to have such a wonderful asset within our area.” Liverpool Waterfront was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status in July 2004, ranking Liverpool alongside other internationally known historic cities such as Edinburgh, Bath, Vienna, and Venice. The 10 finalists are: Liverpool Waterfront, North West; Thame High Street, Oxfordshire, South East; Saltaire, Yorkshire; Brindleyplace, Birmingham, West Midlands; Bath, Somerset, South West; Letchworth Garden City; Hertfordshire, East of England; Peak District; Derbyshire, East Midlands; Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland, North East; Bristol, South West; and Kings Cross Regeneration, London.