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Places Matter

Places Matter

Places Matter

Bespoke independent design review services for clients in north west England.

Independent design review services

Places Matter is an independent organisation, hosted by RIBA, which is devoted to generating a strong sense of place in living, working and leisure environments throughout north west 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.

We are 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’s needs and development timetable.

Download our brochure, which 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, one building, at a set panel or on a date to be agreed: £2,950 + VAT
  • Single house P80e review: £3,950 + VAT
  • Chairs' Desk Review: £2,350 + VAT
  • Projects with more than one building or smaller residential schemes up to 150 dwellings: £3,950 + VAT
  • Larger residential schemes over 150 buildings / sustainable urban expansion / garden village / major regenerations: £4,950 + VAT
  • Desk Review of a previously seen scheme: charged at 50% of the original fee + VAT
  • Building for a Healthy Life assessments available on request 

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

Design training

We are happy to arrange bespoke team training sessions, which will be quoted for on request.

Places Matter panel

These are the current panel 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

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

Further reading

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