Cornwall Design Review Panel

The Cornwall Design Review Panel (CDRP) was re-launched in September 2015. It draws on a pool of external design expertise that is especially appointed for this role. These are supported by experienced officers from within the Council. It operates independently from the development management function of the planning authority to peer assess a range of new development schemes. The Panel is chaired by Mark Pearson, Head of Design Action. The Panel includes expertise in 

  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban Design
  • Historic Environment
  • Sustainable Development
  • Transportation and Planning.
Continue reading

The Governance of the Panel is supported by:

  • the Royal Institute of British Architects Cornwall Branch
  • the Royal Town Planning Institute
  • the Landscape Institute.

The purpose of the Design Review Panel is to encourage design excellence in both the public and private sectors. Its role is to review development proposals within Cornwall. It provides constructive guidance to developers, clients and their appointed agents. This will enable them to enhance the quality of the design of significant projects. It should be seen as a forum within which developers/ architects / designers are able to test and refine their ideas. It is therefore best consulted within the pre-application period and will often be included in Planning Performance Agreements.

The Cornwall Design Review Panel does not have any statutory planning function in its own right. Its guidance reports form a material consideration for Cornwall Council’s statutory planning function, as empowered by the NPPF2 Para 129.

The CDRP will review development proposals and plans within the context of the statutory planning framework including Design Policies of the Cornwall Local Plan and the ‘Cornwall Design Guide.’

The key objective of the Panel is to assist design teams, planning officers and Councillors in understanding and promoting high quality design, encouraging the delivery of better schemes, whilst identifying and resisting poor quality development. The CDRP also has a wider role in promoting good design and developing a more informed and aware community of practitioners working within the county. Along with a commitment to sustainability it will consider the role of design in relation to the National Planning Policy Framework and its aspiration to create sustainable development and strong communities.

The design review panel will consider the architecture of individual buildings. It will also consider the quality of place. the functionality and impact of the proposed development upon the whole site and its wider context including the character, quality and sustainability of the existing place of which it will form a new part. In particular the Panel will examine how the designs contribute positively to making better places for people.

Unless presenters/promoters specifically request a different approach, we would normally invite the relevant Cornwall Council ward member and a representative from the Parish Town Council to attend as observers. This is on the understanding that they will, as necessary, adhere to, and uphold, any confidentiality that may be required at a pre-application stage. We wish to encourage this as part of our commitment to improve the design education of elected decision-makers involved within the planning process.