Cornwall design review panel

Started in May 2011, the Cornwall Design Review Panel (CDRP) draws on a pool of external design expertise that is 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 South West; and includes expertise in Architecture; Landscape Architecture; Urban Design; Historic Environment; Sustainable Development; Transportation and Planning. The Panel is supported by the Royal Institute of British Architecture Cornwall Branch.

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 and provide constructive criticism to developers, clients and their appointed agents that will enable them to enhance the quality of the design of significant projects.  It should be seen as a mechanism for developers/ architects / designers to test and refine their ideas and is therefore best undertaken within the pre-application period.

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The Cornwall Design Review Panel does not have any statutory planning function in its own right, but its guidance reports it produces for developers do form a material consideration for Cornwall Council’s statutory planning function.

The CDRP will review development proposals and plans against the statutory planning framework including the ‘Cornwall Design Guide.’

A 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 quality design and developing a more informed and aware community of practitioners working within the county.  Along with a commitment to sustainability it will consider designs inter alia to the design aspirations of the National Planning Policy Framework and to the creation of sustainable communities. 

The design review session will consider not only the architecture of individual buildings, but also 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.

The Cornwall Design Review Panel (CDRP) will liaise regularly with the Design Council CABE’s national design review panel and South West Regional Design Review Panel (SWRDP).

View the full terms of reference for the Design Review Panel and Guidance to Applicants. 

NB: Please note the advice set out in the terms of reference and guidance to applicants on the arrangements and timetable for accepting the appropriate material in preparation for each Design Review Panel meeting.

The Panel will meet every month from 9.30am to 4.30pm in the Committee Room, St Austell One Stop Shop or Carrick Council Chamber, Truro.

9 January 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room 
7 February 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room 
7 March 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room
4 April 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room
2 May 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room
6 June 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room
4 July 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room 
1 August 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room
5 September 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room
3 October 2018 St Austell OSS Committee Room


In order to encourage promoters to present their ideas early, at a ‘pre-application’ stage, the design review process will look to preserve commercial and other confidentialities. Therefore the Cornwall Design Review Panel will not normally allow members of the press and public to attend its meetings. Once projects are in the public domain any guidance letters already issued by the Panel will then be published and formally submitted to the case officer dealing with any subsequent planning application.

Please submit a booking form stating which date you would like to apply for.  A project synopsis form must be submitted strictly 2 weeks in advance of the Panel , followed by a separate presentation to the Panel on the day itself.  Full details can be found in the Guidance to Applicants.

If none of the above dates are suitable the Panel can if given advance warning work with a developer to hold a special meeting. The fee for this will depend on the proposed event duration, availability of Panel Members, venue hire, etc. Developers should contact the Panel Administrators: Julie Hoare  on 01726 223406 or and David Coulthard on 01726 223445 or via email to check availability prior to the submission of the booking form.