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Places Matter

Places Matter

Places Matter

Bespoke independent Design Review services for clients in the North West of England.

independent Design Review services

Places Matter is an organisation devoted to generating a strong sense of place in living, working and leisure environments throughout the North West of England.

We work across the public, private and third sectors to drive up the skills and knowledge of all those involved in new development, promoting good design and encouraging strong client leadership.

Hosted by the RIBA and based at RIBA North in Liverpool, our expert Design Review panel provides timely and impartial advice that can add value to the development process, operating under the widely recognised Ten Principles of Good Design.

We hold set monthly Design Review panel meetings, but will arrange additional sessions to meet your client needs and timetable.

Download our new brochure that outlines our approach to Design Review and hear what our clients have to say about the benefits of an independent critical friend.

Submit a project

To submit a project for a panel meeting, download and complete our form,
or email


Standard fees 

  • Single project coming forward with others on a set panel date: £2,250 + VAT
  • Single project coming forward on its own date: £3,250 + VAT
  • Single house / P79 house review: £3,750 + VAT
  • Major regeneration or larger schemes / Sustainable Urban Extension / Garden Village: £4,250 + VAT
  • Desk Review of previously seen scheme: £1,125 + VAT

All fees are payable in advance. All other services quoted on request.

Building for Life 12 Training

We regularly hold Building for Life 12 training sessions at various venues across the region.

  • Individual places at our advertised sessions are currently priced at £135 + VAT
  • Bespoke team training sessions can be quoted for on request

The panel

The current panel has 72 members, drawn from across the built environment professions. 

We seek to ensure that panel members skills are matched to the requirements of the projects under review and each panel will usually contain a mix of architects, landscape architects and urban designers, with planners, master planners, engineers, developers, historic and conservation specialists, and sustainability experts added when we feel this is needed.

Our current co-Chairs are Annie Coombs and Matt Brook.

Annie Coombs, Landscape Architect (Chair)

As co-chair of the Places Matter design review panel, and a deputy chair of the HS2 design panel, Annie Coombs regularly chairs or participates in design review. She was a national design review panellist for CABE and is a Design Council CABE built environment expert. Annie is also an examining inspector for major infrastructure with the Planning Inspectorate.

Matt Brook, Architect – Design Director, Corstorphine + Wright (Chair)

Matt Brook is an RIBA award-winning architect and one of the region’s foremost experts in design quality. As Design Director at Corstorphine + Wright, he embeds a rigorous design approach and narrative in projects and brings innovation which add value – both to clients and communities. Matt has a long-standing relationship with RIBA, including chairing RIBA North West and serving on RIBA’s National Council.


Places Matter


Contact us for a quote and to arrange a panel meeting.

Further reading

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