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Public votes Aberaeron as Wales’s Best Place

Words: Laura Edgar

RTPI president Phil Williams says the impact of planning is obvious in the town voted No.1 in Wales by the public.

Nearly 5,500 people voted on a shortlist of 10 places for their favourite in the RTPI's Wales's Best Place competition.

Tenby, a walled coastal town in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was voted into second places, while Gower, the first Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB) in Britain, came third.

The nationwide competition celebrates the places protected, carefully planned or improved by the planning system for communities.

Presenting the award to Rhys Davies, the Mayor of Aberaeron, RTPI president Phil Williams said the impact of planning is obvious in the town, “which has been carefully planned in the Georgian style around the harbour”.

"Planners have been important guardians of this town’s character as it has changed over the last 200 years – from small fishing village, to a thriving trading port and ship building town to today’s bustling business centre and tourist hot spot. As a Welshman, I’m proud to have shone a spotlight on the outstanding range of places in Wales that have been protected, carefully planned or improved by planners.”

Davies said maintaining Aberaeron as a popular visitor destination takes “hard work”.

“We of course will make full use of the recognition we have been given by all who voted for us and by further promoting our town on a national and international stage, which not only benefits Aberaeron but Ceredigion as a whole.”

Peter Lloyd, chair of RTPI Cymru, said: “Aberaeron is one of Wales’s first planned towns and since then has been developed and managed by the planning system to be a popular tourist destination and providing services to communities in its large rural hinterland. The planning of the town, by Colonel Alban Gwynne and architect Edward Haycock, earned it the reputation of being "one of the best examples of a planned township of small scale in Wales”.