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Mid Devon District Council expects new development to be of high quality and seeks to raise the design quality. The Council supports the process of design review as a tool to help assess the design quality of development proposals. Design review via an independent, expert panel provides an opportunity for developers and local authorities alike to have access to some of the best built environment practitioners in the region. It is an impartial process for evaluating the design quality of projects and is referenced within the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (2018):

 ‘129. Local planning authorities should ensure that they have access to, and make appropriate use of, tools and processes for assessing and improving the design of development. These include workshops to engage the local community, design advice and review arrangements, and assessment frameworks such as Building for Life47. These are of most benefit if used as early as possible in the evolution of schemes, and are particularly important for significant projects such as large scale housing and mixed use developments. In assessing applications, local planning authorities should have regard to the outcome from these processes, including any recommendations made by design review panels.’

We will discuss the suitability of emerging schemes to be referred to design review with scheme promoters. This referral is best done at an early stage in the evolution of a development proposal and preferably as part of pre-application discussions and negotiation.

Several design review panels are in operation within the region and maybe suitable to provide input into the design process:

Design Review Panel for Devon (Panel Manager Jonathan Braddick)

Creating Excellence South West Design Review Panel (Panel Manager Julie Tanner)

National design review panel:

Design Council

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