Judges

Here are our impeccably independent Judges, they are solely responsible for deciding all the Winners. They will give time to go through all the Finalists’ nominations with care.

Alan Pearce

Managing director, Pearce Planning

As a chartered town planner with 25 years’ experience in the industry, Alan has recently established his own planning consultancy, Pearce Planning. Alan was previously head of Planning Development & Regeneration (SW&W) for Lambert Smith Hampton, having joined it from Alder King. He started his career after graduating from UWE with Stride Treglown and also worked for RPS. Alan has been based in Bristol for his whole career working on development projects both locally in the south west and nationally for private and public sector clients in all sectors. Alan lives in Clevedon and has four young daughters.

Bernard Conroy

Director, Hoare Lea

Prior to joining Bristol-based engineering consultants, Hoare Lea in 2019, Bernard spent 20 years working for Arup. A chartered engineer, Bernard’s career has focused on the design of large scale construction projects, across a number of sectors, both in the UK and abroad. Aware of the UK Government’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, a key driver for Bernard’s work is making buildings as energy efficient as possible. Bernard can often be found at weekends on the side of a pitch (or a river!) cheering on his two sports-mad children

David Westgate

Chief executive, Andrews Group

David has worked in the property sector for 35 years, mainly in the residential sector. He is a chartered surveyor (FRICS) and has worked in senior positions at Andrews for the last 22 years. David has lived in the Bristol area for most of his career and actively engaged with supporting a number of local property and charitable initiatives.

Professor Elena Marco

Head of department of Architecture and the Built Environment, UWE Bristol

Elena is an architect, educator, practitioner, researcher, senior manager and academic leader with a diverse and rich profile, building a top-class reputation for the third largest department of Architecture and the Built Environment in the UK, at UWE Bristol, which she leads.  Since taking up her position, Elena has doubled the proportion of female staff from 18% to 43%, and is working towards achieving a 50/50 split by 2025, compared with the current industry ratio of 13% women to 87% men. Elena built a strong profile in sustainable design at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, working on many pioneering and award-winning projects, some as part of Europe-wide research initiatives.

Frank Arko-Tharkor

Senior commercial manager, EDF Energy

Frank has 20 years’ professional experience as a chartered quantity surveyor and is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). As senior commercial manager of EDF, Frank is currently working on Hinkley Point C multi-million project. Frank is also a property developer in his own right, his interests lie in residential property, land and adding value to properties. Outside of the property sector, Frank is co-founder of the Black Professionals Network, a board member of Bristol Museums Development Trust and president of the Ghanaian Community in Bristol. He is married to Jane, with two lovely daughters, aged 12 and 10.

Gabrielle Blackman

Interior designer and TV presenter, DIY SOS

Leading interior designer Gabrielle has over 20 years’ experience at the top-end of the industry starting her career in the luxury yacht design sector. Based in London and the West Country, Gabrielle Blackman Interiors is a thriving design and build practice, seeing projects through from design to completion. Equally experienced in restoring historic houses and building new homes with character. Attention to detail and creating a truly bespoke, luxurious home for each client is at the heart of the practice. Gabrielle is proud to have worked with BBC1’s BAFTA and RTS award winning prime time show DIY SOS since 2012 using her skills as a designer to transform the lives of families in need.

Cllr Nicola Beech

Cabinet member for Spatial Planning and City Design, Bristol City Council

Councillor Nicola Beech was elected ward councillor for St George Central in 2016 and was appointed by Mayor Marvin Rees to the cabinet in July 2017 to lead on Spatial Planning and City Design. This sees her play a key role in delivering spatial planning in the city and the wider city region, and development of Bristol’s updated Local Plan. Nicola also has responsibility for development management, flooding and the city’s flood strategy. She leads on the night time economy and set up the Bristol @ Night advisory panel in 2018.

Pippa Goldfinger

Head of design, Architecture Centre

Pippa has a background in Structural Engineering and Urban Design and has worked as an advocate of good quality architecture and urban design through exhibitions, workshops, training and talks in the built environment sector. Since joining the Architecture Centre in 2016 she has overseen the programme of public talks and the roll out of the Design West design review and support service for the West of England. From 2011 – 2019 she served as an independent councillor for the award-winning Frome Town Council and helped to shape one of the country’s first Neighbourhood Plans. In 2015 she led the application for Frome to win the Academy of Urbanism’s Great Town award.

Ros Trotman

Partner in planning and head of Development of Land, Thrings Solicitors

Ros specialises in planning, advising on a range of development schemes for developers, promoters and landowners. Ros is ranked as a leader in planning by Chambers & Partners and Legal500. Day to day, Ros advises on all aspects of planning law including infrastructure agreements, Community Infrastructure Levy, interpretation of policy, due diligence in property transactions, planning appeals and High Court challenges. Ros is former chairman of Women in Property South West and remains an active committee member alongside her role with Women in Social Housing South West.

Stuart Hatton

Managing director, Umberslade

With over 25 years’ experience in the property sector, Stuart is managing director at Umberslade, a family-owned property development, management, and investment business. Umberslade prides itself on its ability to identify opportunities and transform them into stand-out places for people to live, work and enjoy life, with an ethos focused on quality and attention to detail. Umberslade’s project portfolio includes both the development of land to create new builds and the restoration and renovation of existing buildings.  It often purchases complex sites or assets without planning consent, using its knowledge of the planning process and technical expertise to maximise potential. Developments span the residential, industrial, retail, and commercial sectors, and include award-winning Wapping Wharf.