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Independent panel set up to review designs of future larger developments in the borough

Architecture, regeneration, design and landscape professionals are now offering guidance and expertise on significant future developments in Richmond upon Thames, through an independent Design Review Panel.

The Richmond Design Review Panel has recently been set up by the Council with the aim of raising the standard of design quality in the borough. It is an independent advisory body and its reports will contribute to the decision-making process as new proposals enter the pre-application stage.

Members of the panel include experts who specialise in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, urban design, engineering, transport planning and heritage conservation. They complement services already provided by the Council’s planning team.

The panel looks mainly at applications of 10 residential units and above as well as schemes over 2,500 sq. m non-residential floorspace, tall buildings proposals, significant public realm schemes and those that have a significant impact on heritage assets.

Whilst the panel has now been set up, there are still opportunities for any local architects and professionals in the built environment to become members. Those wishing to join are asked to express their interest by emailing RDRP@richmond.gov.uk

Cllr Martin Elengorn, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Planning and Sustainability, said:

“It is an important time for regeneration in Richmond upon Thames as we seek to meet our increased housing targets on the limited number of development sites in the borough. Both the Government and the Mayor of London encourage independent design review arrangements and we believe the panel will raise the design quality of new developments across the borough.

“Good design has the power to change our lives for the better. It should not be an add-on but must be embedded at every level of urban design from the way buildings interact and connect with existing development, the streets and the community to sustainability, biodiversity and hard and soft landscaping.

“The panel is made up of a group of professionals and their expertise will be instrumental in furthering Richmond’s commitment to achieve the highest quality architecture and design across the borough.”

All panel members have to adhere to a three-year commitment under a comprehensive set of Terms of Reference. A strict conflict of interest check will be carried out to ensure the panel operates in the most transparent and objective manner.

For more information, or to register your interest, go to: richmond.gov.uk/richmond_design_review_panel

— from a Richmond Council press release - 16 April 2019