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Boom in design review prompts new guidance

The number of design review panels has more than doubled in the last five years, so that now almost every local authority has access to high quality independent design advice. Over 80 panels are up and running across England.

Ingress Park, Greenhithe

Ingress Park, Greenhithe. Copyright Crest Nicholson

New guidance has been launched, Design review: principles and practice, to promote consistently high standards for all panels.

The guidance has been developed by CABE, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Landscape Institute.

Speaking at the launch, Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture said that design review is a tried and tested and timely way of promoting good design.  “It is a cost effective way to improve the quality of buildings and places. We want to see every local authority able to use design review to help create world class places.”

The guidance looks at the role of design review, and how to get the best out of it. It uses nine case studies of design review in practice.

Martin Stockley is the chair of Places Matter!, one of the panels featured in the publication. He thinks it is a mark of the achievement of design review that it has become hard to imagine a time without it. “We are no longer asked ‘why’ when it comes to design review – it is always ‘so - how?’. This new guidance answers that question in a clear and concise way."

The publication will be of interest to anyone running a panel or wanting to establish one. This includes local authorities, architects, developers, planners, clients and other design professionals using the planning system who need to understand the network of panels and how to access them.


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