CWAC names design panel

Cheshire West & Chester Council has set up a panel of independent experts to review proposed developments in the area.

The Cheshire West & Chester Design Review Panel will consider plans for buildings, masterplans, public art, green spaces and other projects likely to have a significant impact on the borough's communities.

The council is encouraging developers to refer their proposals at the earliest possible stage, ideally prior to a planning application, to allow them the best opportunity to act on any recommendations.

The panel will produce a report on each project for consideration by members of Cheshire West & Chester Council's planning committees.

A joint venture between the council and Chester Renaissance, the panel is an advisory body and does not hold formal decision-making powers.

The panel members will provide their time on a voluntary basis. Most live or work in the borough.

The list includes representatives from across the sector, with architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, environmental sustainability, public arts and design, engineering and other professional fields within the built environment.

The panel will be chaired by Erin Walsh, an urban design and planning consultant with more than 10 years' experience working in design, planning and development projects in the North West.

Walsh said: "The local panel presents a great opportunity to work with developers and design teams to further achieve the highest quality design and to actively work together to ensure happy and healthy communities, places and spaces across the borough."

Members will aim to undertake a site visit prior to each review and a representative of the developer will be asked to present their proposal to the meeting.

It is understood that the CWAC group will operate separately to the regional Places Matter design panel. Some projects may be recommended to Places Matter depending on the scale.

The full panel is:

  • Erin Walsh, chairman, Erin Walsh Consultancy
  • Matt Brook, urban design, Broadway Malyan
  • John Tweed, architect, Tweed Nuttall Warburton
  • Derek Cox, architect, OMF Derek Cox Architects
  • Kenneth Brodie, urban designer, Brodie Urban Design
  • Peter Thompson, civil engineer, Arup
  • Andrew Pannell, chartered town planner, retired
  • Steve Curwell, sustainable urban development, Heys Environment Consultants
  • Simon Richards, landscape architect, Cass Associates
  • Stephen Taylor, urban design, Turley
  • Brian Morris, sustainable building design, Beverley Clifton Morris
  • David Stafford, chartered engineer, S I Sealy
  • Andy Foster, architect, Andy Foster Architects
  • Tony Barton, architect, Donald Insall Associates
  • Elaine Cresswell, landscape architect, reShaped Landscape Architecture
  • Gordan Richardson, environment design & sustainability advisor, Arup
  • Rupert Collis, commercial property, Grosvenor Estate
  • Martin Band, landscape architect, Environmental Associates
  • Mike Timpson, urban designer
  • Annie Coombs, landscape architect

Your Comments

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I think it would have been useful to have developer input to get a rounded and pragmatic view on design.

By Nick Peterson

It is not clear where the new committee will fit in with Cheshire West and Chester Council’s ambition to win the Bad Architecture Carbuncle Cup for its Barons Quay development in Northwich Town Centre. If you thought this year’s winner for the Woolwich Tesco was ugly just wait until you see the planned ASDA store on the River Weaver water front the with a car park on the roof that the council planning geniuses intend to inflict on the good people of Northwich. Worse than bad.

By Paul Ingle

Planners dont design the buildings.


They do approve the designs proposed by the developer’s architects though

By isrite