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Design review

Exeter Design Quality Partnership

Design review services

Exeter City Council expects all new development to be of the highest quality, and we are committed to raising the standard of design. We have set up the Exeter Design Quality Partnership (EDQP): an independent body comprising architects, urban designers, landscape architects, engineers, transport planners, heritage experts and other design-related professionals with a local interest and recognised expertise in their field to provide design support in the assessment of development proposals.


Design Review & the National Planning Policy Framework

The National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 133 requires that local planning authorities have regard for the outcome of design-led processes, including recommendations made by design review panels.

Establishing the EDQP is Exeter’s preferred route to ensure consistent advice across the city’s development.


How it works

Design reviews benefit the applicant, their design team, and the local planning authority by allowing them to contribute to a panel discussion. Other statutory consultees may be invited, such as the Highway Authority or, where applicable, agencies such as Historic England or the Environment Agency.

The meetings will be held at the Civic Centre in Exeter.

Information on the background of a scheme will be requested in advance. The applicant’s team will be invited to present their proposal to the EDQP. Following the presentation, the EDQP panel will ask clarification questions and then discuss the scheme’s design. The Panel Chair will coordinate the discussion and summarise critical recommendations at the end of the review. A report will be produced within ten working days from the date of the meeting.

For first-time design review schemes, a site visit is arranged immediately before the review. It is expected that the applicant’s team will lead the site visit. If there is a follow-up review, the aim will be to ensure that the same panel members attend to ensure consistency. 

Everything presented and discussed at the meeting is confidential until or unless a planning application has been submitted.


How to submit a scheme for review

The service applies to all pre-application submissions for major schemes in the city and other proposals where the development is considered sensitive in its setting. Design review may also be recommended for submitted applications. Planning Officers will advise whether your scheme is appropriate for design review and will refer you to Design West to discuss the process.


The costs are:

£2,500 + VAT for a 1.5 hour session,

£3,950 + VAT for a 4-hour session,

£4,950 + VAT for a 6-hour session.


You can book a design review on the Design West website.


When this content has been updated

Last updated 14 June 2023