Following the introduction of the Essex Design Guide, published last year, the Essex Planning Officers’ Association has now launched the Essex Quality Review Panel.
The Essex Planning Officers’ Association hopes that this peer group review will help to ensure that the development industry creates great and beautiful places for people to live in, work and enjoy across the county. The Quality Panel will assist with the delivery and promotion of high-quality new developments through the creation of good design, sustainability and improved quality.
The Panel will comprise of 5-6 members who will be drawn from around 40 people with a wide range of professional expertise including urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, transport, planning, regeneration, public art, environment and sustainability, ecology, heritage and conservation and public health.
The Panel will be managed by Place Services, a traded service of Essex County Council.
Noel Farrer has been appointed as Essex Quality Panel Chair. Noel is the past president of the Landscape Institute and a Landscape Architect and Urban Designer with over 30 years’ experience and his own award-winning practice.
Graham Thomas, Head of Planning at Essex County Council and Chairman of the Essex Planning Officers’ Association said: “Essex is currently home to 1.8 million people and is comprised of twelve districts and two unitary authorities, making it one of the most populous counties outside of London. More than 190,000 new homes are needed across Greater Essex by 2036. With a fast growing population, good quality design has never been so important. By launching the Quality Review Panel we are demonstrating our commitment to putting quality at the forefront of growth and creating better places for people to live, work and enjoy.”
The Quality Panel is now operational for local authorities, house builders and developers to use, with the use of this Panel recommended for schemes which are at both the pre-application and planning application stages for strategic, major or complex developments and those on sensitive sites. Appointments can be booked online by the applicant or recommended by a local authority.
Panel Chair Noel Farrer said: “The Essex Quality Review Panel is a fantastic opportunity for authorities and developers to take advantage of exceptional design skills advice, ensuring that future developments achieve the highest possible standards.”
The Essex Quality Review Panel is part of an overall strategy to improve the quality of development in Essex and follows the relaunch of the Essex Design Guide.