HMR requires a formal design review to be embedded in the design process for development proposals. This is an independent evaluation of the quality of the proposal’s architecture and urban design and provides impartial and constructive advice from a panel of experts. Projects discussed are at the pre-planning stage, when there is an opportunity to take on board the panel’s observations and suggestions.
A national design review programme is run by CABE, and there is a Northwest Design Review Panel administered by Places Matter. Both schemes have been used to assess proposals in Oldham and Rochdale.
In 2008 we arranged an in-house Design Review Day during which a panel of independent design specialists visited sites and discussed a number of schemes. The day also gave developer teams an understanding of the expectations arising from HMR investment. We will arrange more such days in the future.
Next: Urban design guidance