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South Downs National Park Design Awards

We’re proud to launch an exciting new awards scheme to promote outstanding and innovative design in the National Park.

The South Downs National Park Design Awards celebrate projects that have made a standout contribution to the landscape, heritage, built environment and our local communities.

The Awards will recognise and promote high standards of design, and raise awareness of the positive contribution that good design can make to the quality of our local environments. It is an opportunity for the Authority to reward developments where extra thought and care has been taken to make a significant difference to the finished product.

Tim Slaney

Tim Slaney, Director of Planning at the South Downs National Park Authority, says: “The awards are a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution that good design can make to the quality of our local environments and communities. There is design work across Hampshire and Sussex that pays homage to this unique landscape and has the highest standards of architectural and landscape design, conservation and sustainability.

“It’s time that these kind of inspirational projects are recognised and we’re expecting the standard of the competition to be very high.”

Nominations for the 2019 awards are open from March 11 to June 30  in the following categories:

  • Residential (individual building/housing development small/large)
  • Non-residential (commercial/industrial/infrastructure)
  • Conservation (landscape/buildings/gardens/craftsmanship)

There will also be a People’s Choice – voted for by the general public as their favourite across these three categories.

Tim added: “We are welcoming entries of all sizes for each of the categories.”

When will the winners be announced?

The winners of the all the awards including Winner, Highly Commended and the People’s Choice will be announced at the presentation ceremony in November 2019.

Who can make a nomination?

Entries can be submitted by anyone who considers the scheme suitable for an award including the owners, architects, designers, developers, parish councils, amenity societies or any member of the public. In all cases the consent of the owner must be obtained prior to making a formal nomination.

To submit a nomination for the awards, please fill in an entry form along with your supporting information to

The following information should be uploaded when completing the form:

  • Maximum of 10 high quality before and after photographs in jpeg format. These should be numbered and supported by captions to describe what is being shown and when the image was taken (in the details of photography submitted section of the entry form).

All material submitted, including photographs may be used by the South Downs National Park Authority to publicise the Design Award.


  • All schemes must be located within the National Park boundary.
  • They should have a ‘Completed Certificate’ from Building Regulations dated between June 2014 and June 2019.
  • Where planning permission was required (and obtained), there must be no outstanding enforcement matters relating to the development, or the site to which it relates.
  • Nominations must be submitted using an entry form (completed).
  • Entries can be submitted by anyone who considers a scheme suitable for an award, including owners, architects, designers, developers, Parish Councils, host Authorities, Amenity Societies, Design Review Panel.
  • The consent of the owner must be obtained prior to completing an entry form.
  • Entries will not be accepted from South Downs National Park Authority Members and Officers or members of their family, or for buildings in their ownership or control.
  • Entries will be assessed by a judging panel consisting of representatives from the Authority and the design profession.
  • If the judging panel considers there to be no nominations of the required standard, no award will be made
  • The judging panel’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Judging Criteria

  • An innovative and/or outstanding contribution to the South Downs National Park Purposes & Duty or Special Qualities.
  • The design quality of a scheme, in terms of its landscape-led approach; its assessment, the form of development (siting, massing, scale) and its appearance (detailing & materials).
  • The design quality of a building, in terms of the overall vision; architectural expression, integrity; (the design in) plan and section, detailing and its overall integration within a designated landscape.
  • The design quality of a scheme, in terms of it energy performance; minimising demand and reducing energy use through good design; the use of renewable energy technologies and the sustainable procurement of materials and construction techniques.
  • Quality of craftsmanship and execution of work.


Essential Information

Download the information pack for the 2019 Design Awards

Download the entry form for the 2019 Design Awards


Celebrating good design across all National Parks

National Parks England, of which the South Downs National Park Authority is a member, has produced a detailed paper on high-quality design and other aspects of planning in National Parks.

The collective of 10 National Parks believes urban and landscape design skills are a significant advantage in protecting and enhancing our most precious environments. National Parks provide technical advice at inception and feasibility stages to ensure that design is integral to the planning process. Margaret Paren is Chair of both the South Downs National Park Authority and National Parks England.

Download National Parks England’s ‘Enhancing Our National Treasures’ planning paper