Present your scheme at design review

If you are invited to present your scheme to the design review panel, make sure you know what to expect by reading through this short guide and watching the video.

The most useful preparation for presenting your scheme to a design review panel is to watch our video guide to design review:

If you cannot see the video(s) below go to

Who will I be presenting to?

You will be presenting to a panel of up to six design review panel members, chaired by a CABE commissioner. The names of panel members cannot be released before the meeting, but will be included in the advice letter that you get after the meeting.

Who should come to the review?

The architect/lead designer and the developer/client must both come to the review. Other consultants can also come, up to a maximum of six people. Attendees should be project team members who can answer questions.

Who else will be there?

We will invite representatives of the local authority and, where appropriate, English Heritage, the Greater London Authority and Design for London.

What is the presentation format?

Each review is allocated 60 minutes.

15-20 minutes is given to the architect and client team to describe the proposal at the start of the review. The client should introduce the scheme’s aims and general concepts in the first three minutes. The architect or lead designer should describe the scheme with reference to the presentation materials for the rest of the time.

Following this, the local authority and other invited representatives will be invited to comment.

Finally, the rest of the review will be devoted to comments from the panel and any further explanation of the scheme.

What should I submit before the review?

The following items must be provided to us by midday on the Friday two weeks before the review. They will be used to compile the agenda for the review.

  1. Written scheme description (.doc format)
    The scheme description is a word document divided into sections including factual information and a description of the scheme including elements such as the site context, a project description, built form, access, public realm and landscape design and sustainability. A template should have been provided to you.
  2. Two A4 jpegs - site plan & key image
    One site plan (red line plan ideal) and one page featuring a visualisation or concept diagram. If the scheme is a planning application, we will publish one image on our website with the letter containing our advice about your scheme after the review.

What material should I bring for the presentation?

  1. Presentation boards
    12 landscape A1 presentation boards to include plans, sections, elevations, three-dimensional drawings, photographs of the existing site, preferably including an aerial photograph. Boards are recommended, however sheets are also suitable, and pins are provided. Consider the key issues that you’d like the panel to understand and use the 12 boards to express them.
  2. Model and material samples if available
  3. Unbound A3 set and pdf copy of presentation boards
    CABE will keep these as a record of the material that was presented at the review.

Powerpoint presentations, computer fly-throughs etc may only be used by prior arrangement with CABE staff, and may not be used in place of standard materials. The presentation should refer directly to the content of the boards and models.

How can I deliver (and collect) the presentation materials?

Our offices are in a government building that has strict security and will only accept pre-arranged deliveries and visitors.

We usually require you to deliver models and pin up boards the day before, and remove all material the day after the review. This should be arranged in advance.

We cannot handle models, so you should provide adequate staff to carry models to the CABE offices on the first floor. If you arrange for couriers to collect material, make sure they:

  • know the name of the scheme
  • are briefed to take it down and pack it up accordingly
  • know the name of the architect and project
  • are aware of exactly what materials they should collect.

What happens after the presentation?

CABE's views on the proposal will be set out in a letter two weeks after the review, which will be copied to all relevant parties.

In the case of projects that are the subject of a planning application, CABE’s views will also be published on our website, and CABE will make its views known to those who ask for them, including the press and media. This also applies to confidential projects reviewed by the panel which become subjects of planning applications at a later stage, if the version of the scheme in the planning application is broadly the same as the one originally reviewed by the panel.