THE spectacular £13 million flood defence project in Skipton – due to be completed later this year – has won a top award.

The two giant dams, one near Skipton Golf Club and the other off Otley Road, have been awarded the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2016.

Skipton Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) was developed by engineering firm Ove Arup and the Environment Agency after Skipton suffered some of the most serious flooding events in recent history.

The scheme involves the building of two flood storage reservoirs on Eller Beck and Walter Hill Beck and the installation of flood walls in the town centre.

Jennifer Winyard, chairman of the judging panel, said:“The judges were particularly impressed by the quality of the technical planning input and the effective management of the scheme through a complex and complicated planning regime.

“The Skipton scheme is a beacon of chartered town planning and is testament to how the profession can lead engineers, surveyors, hydrologists and architects to create transformative solutions.

"It illustrates how community engagement and open communications with local planning authorities can unify stakeholders, and it highlights the capabilities of planners in delivering high-quality solutions.”

The award was presented by RTPI president, Phil Williams, during the organisation's Yorkshire’s annual lecture and reception at the Civic Hall in Leeds.

Speaking about the announcement, RTPI Yorkshire chairman, Phil Crabtree, said:"The standard of the submitted projects highlights the important contribution planning and planners make in delivering high quality, innovative solutions.

“This year’s winner showcases the important role planners play in co-ordinating multi-disciplinary teams and delivering complex projects – the scheme will bring about a real solution to an increasing problem and meet the needs of the community for years to come.

"Not only does it make a major contribution to reduce the possibility of flooding in Skipton, it has been sensitively designed to fit in with the surrounding environment.”