'The Design Review Panel TM operates nationally, providing an impartial, multi-disciplinary, constructive, expert, review process during the pre-application stage of the planning process, to applicants & local authorities. Feedback from The Design Review Panel TM is a material consideration in planning application process , as per paragraph 129 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 

Coronavirus Service Adjustments:


We know it is a very challenging time for everyone and we want to continue to support applicants and local authorities. Therefore over the coming months, we look forward to working with you when developing the best approaches and technology solutions to delivering our services.

We are continuing to offer the same high quality, expert, multidisciplinary and independent design review panel meetings online, utilising video conferencing. Sessions (which will now be carried out via video conferencing) should be booked using our online booking system in the usual way.  In light of Government advice, we are not currently offering in person face to face meetings.

About The Design Review Panel TM

The Design Review Panel comprises a group of independent, multi-disciplinary construction professionals working in the field of the built environment. Click here to meet the Panel members...


The Panel provides impartial expert advice to applicants and local authorities on design issues in relation to important new development schemes and proposals for important public spaces, including both significant minor applications, major planning applications and pre-application development proposals.


As stated within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the Design Review Panel's feedback is a material consideration for local authorities and the planning inspectorate when determining planning applications. The Design Review Panel provides its services directly to applicants as well as to local authorities. 


The Design Review Panel operates nationally across England including in:- Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, City of London, Cornwall, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham, Yorkshire, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucestershire, London, Manchester, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Tyne and Wear, Warwickshire, West Midlands, West Sussex, West Yorkshire, Wiltshire & Worcestershire.


To book a Design Review Panel Session, Click Here...

10 Principles of  Design Review












AUGUST, 2013

 ‘Design Review: Principles and Practice’ :- This guide was produced by Cabe at the Design Council, the Landscape Institute, the RTPI and the RIBA. The publication has been sent with a covering letter from the four bodies to every local authority in England.

Sample Design Review Panel Case Studies


December 2018

Two new publications Design Review Panel: A guide for Developers & Applicants' and ‘Design Review Panel: A guide for Local Authorities'  These  guides have been produced by The Design Review Panel to provide guidance to applicants, design team and local authorities on how to best use The Design Review Panel as part of the planning process.

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Aims & Objectives of The Design Review Panel TM

The aim of The Design Review Panel is to improve design quality in the built environment. Its role is to review development proposals and provide feedback to developers, clients and local authorities. Design review is a very valuable opportunity to get additional expert help with the project. Projects will be presented to a Panel with at least 50 years combined experience in all aspects of design and built environment. We want to work with you to make the project as good as it possibly can be, for the benefit of the design team, the client, the local authority, the future users of the project and the public at large.


The Design Review Panel is not there to pass judgment; we aim to provide a constructive conversation about your project, the result of which is better design. The overwhelming majority of people who present to our Design Review Panel find it to be a positive and immensely useful experience.


The objective is to provide an independent, impartial evaluation process, where a multi-disciplinary panel of built environment experts assess the design of significant proposals. 

 Therefore The Design Review Panel TM:-


  • will be conducted by an independent panel of multi-disciplinary experts – practitioners with a different range of current experience and expertise in design and construction. As a prerequisite to joining the panel, these practitioners will have demonstrated a track record of good design in their own projects and the skills to appraise schemes objectively.

  • exists to offer applicants and their design teams with clear and constructive comments and guidance on schemes, aiding their improvement, but not to fundamentally redesign them.


  • advises and empowers the decision makers on how to improve design quality, so as to meet the needs of their communities and customers.


  • will support decision makers in resisting poorly designed schemes.


  • will support applicants and decision makers in gaining planning approval for well designed schemes.


Andy Robbins Service Lead City Development at Exeter City Council and Tim Burton, Assistant Director Planning & Environment Taunton Deane Borough Council & West Somerset Council.

“The Design Review Panel provides an opportunity for developers and local authorities alike to have access to some of the best built environment practitioners in the region. Working together proactively and passionately we can raise the quality of urban living and conserve and enhance the places that make our County the best in the country.” - Andy Robbins - Development Manager, Exeter City Council

UKHO Offices

Reviewed by The Design Review Panel in 2016 & now completed on site, the new headquarters for the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), was designed by AHR. The existing site contained fourteen different buildings, serving a mixture of industrial & office functions. The scheme involves the construction of new office accommodation of around 11,000 m2 & achieves a BREEAM Excellent rating.

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