New guidance launched in response to boom in design review
4 November 2009
Jane Barraclough, 020 7070 6771, email@example.com
The number of design review panels has more than doubled over the last five years. The first-ever survey to map design review panels found that 81 panels were up and running across England with nearly 75 per cent of them set up since 2003.
The current spread is eight regional panels, nine sub-regional and 63 local panels. Now almost every local authority has access to a panel. Design review can play a vital role in helping local authorities meet their statutory duty under the Planning Act 2008 ‘to have regard to the desirability of achieving good design.’
In response to this demand, Design review: principles and practice, is being launched (4 November), to promote consistently high standards for all panels at whatever level, based upon ten best practice principles for good design review. The guidance has been developed by CABE, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Landscape Institute (LI). It updates CABE’s earlier version published in 2006, How to do design review, as well as previous RIBA guidance on local design review panels.
Speaking at the launch, Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism, said: “Design review is a tried and tested way of promoting good design. It is a cost effective way to improve the quality of buildings and places and doing so at a time when it can be useful – before final decisions have been made. The news that it has grown so rapidly shows this success and we now want to ensure that all local authorities have access to high quality independent design advice. We want to see every local authority able to use design review to help create world class places.”
The guidance is divided into three sections. The first looks at the role of design review, who can benefit from it and how it works at regional, sub-regional and local levels. The second section has nine case studies of design review in practice, including a local design review panel in Sheffield, a sub-regional panel in North Staffordshire and interviews with panel chairs.
Martin Stockley, is the chair of Places Matter!, one of the panels featured in the publication. He comments: "It is a mark of the achievement of design review that it has become hard to imagine a time without it. In place of the question, 'why design review?' we are now simply asked, 'how?.’ This new guidance answers that question in a clear and concise way, and we hope it will help widen the availability of this invaluable service."
The final section explains how to get the best out of design review and how to ensure best practice, for example, by being transparent and diverse. It gives practical advice on how to set up a panel. The guidance looks at particular challenges, such as achieving the balance between confidentiality and public scrutiny.
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.
Notes to editors
- CABE is the government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. As a public body, we encourage policymakers to create places that work for people. We help local planners apply national design policy and offer expert advice to developers and architects. We show public sector clients how to commission buildings that meet the needs of their users. And we seek to inspire the public to demand more from their buildings and spaces. Advising, influencing and inspiring, we work to create well-designed, welcoming places. www.cabe.org.uk For more information please contact: Jane Barraclough, Senior press officer, 020 7070 6771 firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Royal Institute of British Architects is the UK body for architecture and the architectural profession. We provide support for our 40,500 members worldwide in the form of training, technical services, publications and events, and set standards for the education of architects, both in the UK and overseas. We work with government to improve the design quality of public buildings, new homes and new communities. Our annual award schemes recognise outstanding architecture and culminate in the RIBA Stirling Prize. At the Victoria and Albert Museum, the RIBA hosts exhibitions, archives, talks and shared study facilities in partnership with the V&A. And, from our London headquarters, we help the public to learn more about the built environment through information services, websites and a library that includes an unrivalled collection of books, photographs and manuscripts. www.architecture.com For more information, please contact Melanie Mayfield, Head of press, 020 7307 3662 email@example.com
- The RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners in Europe, with over 22,000 members. As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development. www.rtpi.org.uk For more information, please contact Jamie Hodge, Communications & public affairs officer, 07969 976 799 firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Landscape Institute is an educational charity and chartered body responsible for protecting, conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for the benefit of the public. It champions well-designed and well-managed urban and rural landscape. The Institute’s accreditation and professional procedures ensure that the designers, managers and scientists who make up the landscape architecture profession work to the highest standards. Its advocacy and education programmes promote the landscape architecture profession as one which focuses on design, environment and community in order to inspire great places where people want to live, work and visit. http://www.landscapeinstitute.org/ For more information please contact: Paul Lincoln, Director of Policy and Communications, 020 7299 4500, email@example.com