The Cheshire West and Chester Design Review Panel was established in the Summer of 2014 to provide independent and impartial design advice and guidance to developers and their design teams on significant developments within the borough.

The panel comprises of 15 independent expert design professionals who have experience in their field of expertise along with a passion for the built and natural environment. The Panel has a permanent Chair who chairs the design review meetings. Our Panel members are experts in architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, environmental sustainability, public art and design engineering and other professional fields within the built environment.

The panel’s advice assists and encourages developers and their design teams to deliver design excellence. We understand the importance of good design and the benefit of design review in helping to shape and better the places we live, work and play. The design review process provides added value to the planning process and the report is regarded as a materials consideration in an outline and full application.

mapThe panel reviews preplanning and planning applications, along with emerging plans and frameworks, which will impact the cities and towns of Cheshire West and Chester. Every effort is made to review projects at the earliest possible stage, as this has proven to be the opportune time to influence design quality – with preplanning schemes brought to the panel in confidence. Projects may be reviewed more than once if considerable design changes have been implemented with every effort made to ensure panel representation from the initial review are present.

In order to ensure a professional and independent service, all Panel members are expected to abide by the 10 principles of design review, along with a confidentiality agreement for projects not yet at a planning application stage. Any conflict of interest must be declared in advance of the meeting to allow for appointment of an alternative panel member, as the strength of the panel lies in its transparency and accountability.

The Cheshire West and Chester Design Review Panel undertakes reviews for schemes located throughout the borough, which includes our 4 main locations of Chester, Northwich, Winsford and Ellesmere Port. It is encouraged for schemes to be submitted in various locations to ensure high design quality throughout the area.