Planning and localism

Design Review

Along with our partners; the CABE team at the Design Council, the Landscape Institute and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), we have released an update to the widely acknowledged, industry standard best practice guidance to delivering Design Review; 'Design Review, Principles and Practice'.

The publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in 2012 reiterated and reinforced the role of Design Review in ensuring high standards of design. The new guidance sets out an updated ten principles that underpin the independent and effective delivery of the process and provides authoritative advice for Design Review panels of all types to help them operate in a consistent way and to uphold the quality of the independent, expert advice that they provide.   

The new guidance represents a cross-sector, industry-led effort to condense and update core advice in light of both the NPPF and Taylor Review, setting a precedent for a focus on the key principles necessary to deliver on the ambitions set out within the NPPF. 

Design Review 2013

 Design Review: Principles and Practice

Key changes included in the Design Review, Principles and Practice:

  • A revision of the ten principles of Design Review, now firmly the focus of the document alongside the crucial definition of a good design review.
  • The removal of the old principle nine (focused on outcomes for people) and principle ten (focused on improving quality), which now form an introductory definition and have been replaced with 'Multidisciplinary' and 'Transparent'.  
  • A restructuring of the document to focus on the principles that should constitute core planning guidance on Design Review, followed by clear, concise and accessible advice on how to deliver them.
  • The role of design review in the planning system is updated in light of the NPPF and the importance this document now gives to design review arrangements at a local and national level.

Download the paper below:



RIBA Design Review CPD

Are you looking to sit on a design review panel or develop your skills to chair a panel?

Do you want to gain an insight into how best to present your scheme at design review?

The RIBA has developed a full-day training session aimed at architects, planners, landscape architects and other built environment professionals, and based around the Principles and Practice Guidance.

Futher details are available on our dedicated CPD page.


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