We had already carried out a number of design reviews in Kingston before we were secured the contract to create a dedicated local panel for the borough.
We worked closely with the council on a recruitment process and appointed a high-calibre panel of 17 experts. Some of the panel are very knowledgeable about Kingston; some bring a fresh perspective. Some are existing Design South East panel members, other are new appointments. We interviewed prospective panel chairs with council officers, and we have produced a panel brochure to explain design review to applicants and the wider community and have provided copy for the council website. We undertook a thorough induction process to familiarise the panel members with the borough and its challenges and to help officers understand how they could get the best from their new panel.
The role of the panel is to help the council deal with the pressures of densification in the borough which are often challenging to residents and elected members given its traditional suburban character; we have reviewed high-density residential and mixed-use developments and redevelopments of historic pubs, hospitals and even the conversion of a multi-story car-park to part residential use.
To find out more about our current work with the council, click here.