The Swindon Design Review Panel provides an independent, impartial, multi-disciplinary, constructive, peer review process during the pre application and planning stage, to both applicants and Swindon Borough Council.

The Swindon Design Review Panel is formed from a pool of independent, multi-disciplinary construction industry professionals who are actively working in the field of the built environment. Click here to meet the pool of Panel members...


The Swindon Design Review Panel supplies its expert, independent feedback directly to applicants as well as Swindon Borough Council, on design issues in regard to significant new development and proposals for important public spaces; this includes both minor applications, major planning applications.


The Design Review Panel is most useful when engaged with, along side, or as part of the local authorities pre-application process. 


As contained within the NPPF, the Swindon Design Review Panel's feedback is a material consideration for the local authority and the planning inspectorate when determining planning applications. 


The Swindon Design Review Panel is affiliated with The Devon and Somerset Design Review Panel and as such the same expert and independent review process can be provided across the South West region.


The main objective is to provide an independent, impartial evaluation process, where a multi-disciplinary panel of built environment experts assess the design of significant proposals. 


 Therefore The Design Review Panel:-


  • will be conducted by an independent panel of multi-disciplinary experts – practitioners with a different range of current experience and expertise in design and construction. As a prerequisite to joining the panel, these practitioners will have demonstrated a track record of good design in their own projects and the skills to appraise schemes objectively.

  • exists to offer applicants and their design teams with clear and constructive comments and guidance on schemes, aiding their improvement, but not to fundamentally redesign them.


  • advises and empowers the decision makers on how to improve design quality, so as to meet the needs of their communities and customers.


  • will support decision makers in resisting poorly designed schemes.


  • will support applicants and decision makers in gaining planning approval for well designed schemes.

"Swindon's ambitious growth and regeneration plans are generating a buzz around the town. To capitalise on the attention our town is receiving it is vital that Swindon Borough Council works proactively with developers. Our Planning Committe has given unanimous approval to the setting up of the Swindon Design Review Panel as a vehicle to foster collaboration with developers. The Panel will offer practical advice to developers to help improve schemes coming forward. In so doing, I expect the Panel to add significant value to the development process in Swindon."  - David Dewart - Planning Manager, Swindon Borough Council - 2016

Key Principles of Design /PLACE Review


  • ​Independent

  • Expert

  • Multidisciplinary

  • Accountable

  • Transparent

  • Proportional

  • Timely

  • Advisory

  • Objective

  • Understandable


AUGUST, 2013

Design Review: Principles and Practice’ :- This guide was produced by Cabe at the Design Council, the Landscape Institute, the RTPI and the RIBA. The publication has been sent with a covering letter from the four bodies to every local authority in England.

JULY, 2015

Design Review Panel: Annual Report 2013/2014’This report has been produced by The Design Review Panel to provide an update on the operation of the Panel. The report includes testimonials from Panel mebers, local authorirties and applicants. Sample case studies of projects reviewed, that have subsequently obtained planning approval, are also included.

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