COVID-19 Adjustments ...
We are supporting applicants & local authorities by providing our services online, using video conferencing & remote desktop reviews. In this way we are offering high quality, expert, multidisciplinary and independent design review panel services whilst maintaining social distancing.
Site visits are now being carried out using 360 Virtual Tours.
Sessions should be booked using our online booking system. In light of Government advice, we are not currently offering in person face to face meetings.
Design Review Panel
Depending on the option selected when booking, sessions are between 90 minutes and 4 hours long. The Panel will strictly adhere to the session times, to ensure one session does not run into another.
At each session the Panel will be made up of a range of built environment professionals; the administrator/chairperson and several other rotating Panel members, who will be selected from a pool of expert volunteers.
Any Design Review Panel is only as good as its members. It is therefore crucial to have the right mix of skills and experience to provide clear, objective advice. In recognition of this, the Panel pool includes built environment professionals from a range of disciplines. This enables panel members with the appropriate skill set and experience to be selected for the scheme being reviewed.
The Design Review Panel pool includes, architects, urban designers, landscape architects, conservation specialists, ecological or sustainability experts, civil engineers, structural engineers, chartered surveyors, independent town planners and arboriculturalists. For details of The Design Review Panel members, Click here ...
Design Review Timing
Ideally, schemes will be submitted to the panel at the pre-application stage of the planning process. This is the best time to take advantage of a review, whilst the design is still fluid. This can help proposers to identify the design aspects of schemes that should be improved. This in turn may help the applicant and local authority to resolve design issues before the application is submitted, saving both the applicant and the Local Authority time and expense.
The design review process will be treated as a conversation about work in progress, not a verdict on an outcome.
The review may precede the pre-application meeting with the planners, but it will usually follow it, when wider policy matters have been aired.
Leaving review until the planning application stage is possible, but may make it more difficult for the design team to make changes.
Information for the Panel
There is no set requirement for the level of information to be submitted in advance of a panel session, or the content of the presentation made to the panel. However, in order to gain the maximum benefit from The Design Review Panel session, it is recommended that the project team provide as much information as possible. Click here, for a guide to the information to be provided ...
Presentation to the Panel ...
Applicants or the design team present their scheme. They may do this in whatever format that they wish, (e.g. Powerpoint presentation, physical model or display boards). Clear and detailed presentations that explore the wider context will enable a more beneficial review process. Presenters will be expected to bring their own laptops, projectors, power cables etc. Click here for a guide on suggested information to be provided to the Panel as part of the presentation.
Questions & Discussion ...
Having watched the presentation and made notes, the Panel members will be given the opportunity, in turn, to ask questions of the presenters. These questions may lead to further discussion, but in-depth feedback will not be given at this stage.
Private Panel Consideration ...
Once each of the Design Review Panel members have asked their questions, everyone other than the Panel members (including the applicant, design team and any local authority representatives) will be asked to leave the room. The Panel will then confer privately with each other, thoroughly discussing their thoughts.
Panel Summary & Feedback ...
The presenters and local authority representatives will then be asked to return to the room. The Design Review Panel Chairperson will verbally summarise the comments made by the Panel in a clear and constructive manner. Each of the Panel members will then be given the opportunity to make final comments. This verbal summary does not constitute the Panel's formal feedback and applicants and the local authority should await the Feedback Document. At this stage the Design Review Panel session is concluded. The Panel Administrator will amalgamate the notes from the meeting and produce a clear actionable written report that will be provided in a pdf digital format via email to the person who made the booking, either the applicant or the relevant local authority (LA) planning department via the designated planning officer.