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Design Review Panel

The Newham Design Review Panel helps to improve the quality of urban design and architecture, using the borough's planning process. If you are a developer, the panel may review your plans to advise the council.


What is the Design Review Panel?

The panel advises on developments in the borough. It does not make planning decisions itself, but it helps the council to get the best built environment for residents. 
We recommend that major projects go to the Panel for review.
The Royal Institute of British Architects and the former Commission of Architecture and the Built Environment used the Panel in a case study in their publication, Design Review: Principles and Practice (PDF) in 2009.

Who is on the Panel?

The panel includes a chair and up to three others taken from a group of 15 built environment professionals, including architects, urban designers and landscape architects. Panel members are carefully chosen according to their expertise and the type of project.

What does the Design Review Panel do?

The panel looks closely at developments across the borough, except those in the parts of Stratford which are under the control of the London Legacy Development Corporation (which has its own separate review panel). It looks at planning applications and early designs for those major new developments and large alterations to properties and buildings which affect the local area. In particular it focuses on:
  • Canning Town
  • the Royal Docks
  • the Lower Lea Valley
  • the rest of Stratford. 
The panel also reviews designs for the public realm (publicly owned spaces such as parks and streets) and planning and design guidance.

How do the reviews work?

The panel meets monthly. The panel will look at up to four schemes at each meeting.

Before the review

We ask developers to give a description of the scheme and drawings to panel members one week before the meeting.

Before the meeting, members of the panel visit the sites with Newham Council officers.

The review

At the meeting the developer's design team use drawings and models to present its plans for the site.
After the presentation, panel members ask questions and discuss the design of the scheme with the design team and developer.

After the review

Within ten days of the meeting, we write a report with the chair of the panel and send it to the developers and their design team.
If the review happens before the developer applies for planning permission, the report stays private. If not, then the report is available to the public and we keep it with the planning file.

Design Review Panel documents

You can find out more about the way the panel works in these documents.
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