Rowcroft wins Award for Design Excellence at Planning Awards 2024

Rowcroft wins prestigious award

Rowcroft Hospice’s plans for the development of Ella’s Gardens have won the Award for Design Excellence at the national 2024 Planning Awards in London. This prestigious accolade recognises the innovative and visionary approach of Rowcroft’s redevelopment project in Torquay, aimed at enhancing end-of-life care and community support in South Devon.

Highlighting exceptional contributions across various planning and placemaking sectors, and acknowledging excellence in disciplines such as heritage conservation and environmental consultancy, the award ceremony took place on 13 June at IET London: Savoy Place, overlooking the River Thames. The Award for Design Excellence, presented to Rowcroft Hospice, was awarded for the charity’s Ella’s Gardens project which best demonstrated how it is planning to use high quality design to create excellent prospects for improvement. The plans for Ella’s Gardens, located at Rowcroft’s Avenue Road site in Torquay, encompass a transformative vision with features that include: the remodelling of Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit to feature a ‘sky terrace’ and 14 ensuite bedrooms complete with private patios and gardens that are accessible to patients in their beds; the development of Lavender Square – a pioneering 60-bed dementia and complex nursing care home that incorporates 6 small households with dedicated courtyard gardens; and the introduction of 40 assisted living apartments that overlook the bay of Torbay. The development is set to expand Rowcroft’s services, offering a world-class inpatient facility, outpatient services, staff training facilities, a children’s nursery, a central village green, guest lodges and beautiful landscaped areas and horticultural features that are designed to enhance both aesthetic appeal and therapeutic benefits. Both the nursing home and assisted living facility will generate valuable income for the hospice so that Rowcroft can expand its services to care for more local patients with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones into the future.

An innovative vision

Dr. Gill Horne, Rowcroft’s Programme Director – Care Services, expressed her delight at receiving the award, stating, “We’re thrilled to have won this prestigious award that recognises the innovative nature of our vision. Our aim is to provide the very best quality environment for our patients and future residents by  creating a caring and nurturing environment that embraces digital technology and intergenerational care combined with the tranquil and soothing qualities of the natural world. We strive to support people to live life to the fullest, with dignity, and a deep connection to the community.”

An exemplary development

The redevelopment of Rowcroft’s 23-acre site promises to create an exemplary, intergenerational continuing care community, with the masterplan emphasising sustainability and a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon operation.

Clare Cameron, representing PRP – the architects who are working on the design of the project alongside Richard Sneesby Landscape Architects – commented on the award, saying, “I’m incredibly proud of the ‘later living’ team at PRP for winning the Design Excellence award for Ella’s Gardens. It takes an inspired client like Rowcroft Hospice to set out a brief with so much vision. The comprehensive plan for development integrates state-of-the-art facilities with purposeful landscape and horticulture.

“We wish Rowcroft Hospice all the very best with securing the necessary funding for the development. We can’t wait for work to start!”

Mary Hutchison, project leader for the design at PRP, was recognised for her leadership in driving forward this groundbreaking initiative. She commented: “This award is a testament to the dedication and vision of everyone involved in the Ella’s Gardens project. We are excited to see Rowcroft moving forward with fundraising efforts so that we can begin to bring this transformative vision to life.”

The Planning Awards 2024 celebrate projects that demonstrate outstanding planning, design, and community impact across the UK. Rowcroft Hospice’s recognition in the Design Excellence category underscores its commitment to advancing end-of-life care and community support in South Devon. It is hoped that with the support of the Integrated Care Board, Lavender Square could be opening for Christmas 2026.

For more information about Rowcroft’s plans for Lavender Square, please go to:

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