The Forum Exeter, Devon

An RIBA south west award wining building at Exeter University in Devon; The Forum. This building benefited from design review during the design and pre-planning stage

Design Review Panel Training 2018

Design Review Panel training session carried out in Taunton and the Somerset County Cricket Ground in November 2018. The event was extremely well attended by local authority representatives, house builders and design team members

Exeter Quay by Jonathan Braddick

Photograph of Exeter Quay taken by Architect and Design Review Panel Manager Jonathan Braddick. The Design Review Panel holds regular design review panel sessions at Exeter City Council

Design Review Panel Training 2018

Design Review Panel training event 2018. Jonathan Tricker, Highways Engineer, Urban Designer & Director at Phil Jones Associates, gave a talk entitled: ‘Highway Design in Placemaking’

Steiner School Exeter

The design review Panel was engaged by Willmott Dixon during the pre-application design stage of the project to help them prepare a design that would be acceptable to the local authority

Design Review Panel Site Visit Poole

Photograph from a 2018 design review panel site visit carried out in Dorset in 2018. A full sit down design review panel was subsequently held in the Poole Borough Council Offices

North Grays Farm Para 79 House

External visualization for a NPPF paragraph 55 (now 79) house that was presented to the design review panel. This project has subsequently gone on to achieve planning permission and is now built on site

Design Review Panel Training 2017

Design Review Panel training session carried out in Exeter, Devon in December 2017. The event was extremely well attended by local authority representatives, house builders and design team members

Para 79 House by Hawkes Architecture

Para 79 House in Dover Kent by Hawkes Architecture

Rockfish Exeter Quay

A small but sensitive project in Exeter Quay; The Rockfish Restaurant has been designed by Grainge Architects who engaged with The Design Review Panel during the design & pre -application planning stage

Pegasus Life Project Sidmouth Devon

Pegasus Life secured planning permission through public inquiry for a Sarah Wigglesworth Architects scheme for a C2 assisted living community at The Knowle, Sidmouth, Devon. The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk) were instructed by East Devon District Council (EDDC) to provide multidisciplinary, expert, independent and impartial guidance and feedback to the local authority, applicant and design team during the pre-application design stage.

Plymouth Hoe

Photograph of Plymouth Hoe, Devon. The Design Review Panel holds regular design review panel sessions at Plymouth City Council

Design Review Panel Training 2017

Design Review Panel training session carried out in Exeter, Devon in December 2017. The event was extremely well attended and incorporated a mock design review panel session and design workshop

The value of design and how to create a ‘pipeline of talent’



Sir Charles Bean

Over a year after the Bean review (Sir Charles Bean: Independent review of UK economic statistics: final report), where design is classed as ‘intangible capital’ and it is recognised that economic statistics aren’t necessarily measuring the output of design and the associated productivity correctly, we still seem to struggle to understand the contribution it makes to the UK economy, visibly or invisibly. ‘Innovation’ has become a buzzword and is seen as the source of economic advancement with ‘Design’ being the poor relation but both complement and depend on each other.

It is often difficult to describe the value of design – not only with a focus on the economic advantages but also with regard to the increase of health and well-being for the whole community through well designed places, homes and workplaces. The Design Council’s research shows that for every £1 invested in design, businesses can expect over £4 in net operating profit which means that design could be a game changer in re balancing the economy and creating significant opportunities for the South West.

The exponential growth of design roles and economic impact means that we will need to nurture design talent for our fast growing industries so companies can find the ‘home-grown’ and local skills they need. Future research has now been commissioned by the Design Council on how design skills measurably contribute to productivity and innovation. In the case of building and urban design this will lead to better living, sustainable communities and increased happiness.

It is therefore essential to provide attractive learning spaces and sufficient student places at all levels of Further and Higher Education to support the design economy in the South West. One of the inspiring colleges of the future is the refurbished 6,000 sqm School of Art and Design for Somerset College, designed by Stride Treglown.


Somerset  College Photograph of Front Elevation

The College had secured the appropriate funding which shows that there is a growing importance of the region as a provider of high quality Further Education and a pipeline of design talent.