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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 80 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

Exeter Quay - Rockfish Restaurant

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

Extra Care Development by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects

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

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

Planning Inspector Gives Great Weight to Independent Design Review Panel Feedback

Following engagement with The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk), this National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraph 80(e) project was granted planning permission by a Planning Inspector on the 21st November 2022, having been previously refused by South Cambridgeshire District Council.


This was an important appeal from the perspective of engaging independent Design Review Panels over those preferred by the Local Planning Authority.



The Planning Inspector found that the Local Authority were wrong to disregard the national and independent feedback given by ‘The Design Review Panel’ (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk).


Within the appeal decision the Planning Inspector states the following:-


“The Council have raised concern that their own design enabling panel (DEP), with greater local knowledge, was not used by the appellant … Regardless of whether using a national DRP or the local DEP, paragraph 133 of the Framework states local planning authorities should have regard to the outcomes and recommendations of a DRP. Whilst weight to be given to such recommendations is for the decision-maker to apportion, the Council’s case provides no rebuttal directly against the listed DRP recommendations and conclusions. I give greater weight to the DRP [The Design Review Panel] findings as a result”



Daniel Gender-Sherry, Director at Axiom Planning said:-


“There are a number of Local Planning Authorities (LPA) that think it’s acceptable to favour their own design review panel (DRP). We have been arguing for years that National Planning Policy is unbiased and what matters most is the calibre of the Panel and their ability to professionally critique the proposal before them. Not whether the Panel is local or preferred by the LPA.


This appeal decision provides a home run for anyone wishing to use an independent and professional DRP instead of an LPA’s preferred local panel. It is entirely wrong for an LPA to give “very little weight” to the recommendations made by an independent DRP, as happened in this situation and rightly so, the Inspectorate have corrected the situation.”

The proposals have been produced by Hawkes Architecture (www.hawkesarchitecture.co.uk), Squires Young Landscape Architecture (www.squiresyoung.co.uk) and Axiom Planning (www.axiomplanning.co.uk).


The design is for the erection of a single dwelling within a rural site. The relatively constrained site led to an innovative way to maximise the potential of the land.


The proposal consists of a two storey three-bedroom dwelling. With the site forming part of a former WWII RAF airfield known for De Havilland Mosquitos, the design team proposed a dwelling inspired by the famous fast bomber.



The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk) was asked to provide independent, impartial and multidisciplinary review of the proposed design on several occasions throughout the pre-planning design process and ultimately concluded that overall the scheme was a well-developed proposal of the highest architectural standards, representing a truly outstanding design. It was considered that the links to the historic use of the site in WWII, and its association with Mosquito, (aeroplane’s), results in a strong concept. It was noted the project intends to bring back to life a previously used site, in a way that would significantly enhance its setting, whilst at the same time demonstrates a sensitivity to the defining characteristics of the local area.


Richard Hawkes of Hawkes Architecture said:-


“Thank you to ‘The Design Review Panel [www.designrevewpanel.co.uk] for your assistance in helping to shape and develop the proposals for Mossie which we are delighted to have been allowed at Appeal following the refusal by SCDC [South Cambridgeshire District Council].


The design discussions were, as always, thoroughly engaging, conducted in an open and collaborative manner by a wide range of disciplines and experienced consultants. Through the three reviews we had with the DRP [The Design Review Panel] we were able to interrogate and refine the architectural narrative to ensure that the conceptual vision was carried through consistently in the architectural form, detail and interior of the scheme.”


Please click here to read a full copy of the Planning Inspectorate Appeal Decision.


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