COUNCIL staff are celebrating after picking up a top national award.

Maldon District Council was handed the award for design excellence at the 2018 Planning Awards for its Maldon District Design Guide.

Councillor Penny Channer, chairman of the council’s planning and licensing committee, said: “On behalf of the council, I am absolutely delighted to receive such a high accolade for the council’s district design guide.

“Where we live and the housing we live in is a key consideration for our well-being and happiness.

“Design quality should be inside and outside of our homes, in the streets, public spaces, open spaces and facilities in the wider neighbourhood.

“The Maldon district design guide has been prepared in accordance with policy D1 of the local development plan (LDP) to guide developers, designers, community groups and decision makers to deliver high quality design in all development.

“I would particularly like to thank Jackie Longman and officers within the planning department for their hard work and effort in producing the Maldon district design guide.”

The judges chose the Maldon District Design Guide from eight shortlisted projects for its “ambition, clarity and usability”.