Brighton & Hove City Council has set up a new Design PLACE support service with Design South East to help ensure major new developments in Brighton & Hove meet high quality standards. The Council is an early adopter of the recent Farrrell Review recommendation to set up “PLACE Review Panels (Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Conservation and Engineering) to include professionals from each of these fields.” The Council is able to call on the support of a multi-skilled Panel of 27 members covering these five PLACE design areas of expertise.

The Chair of d:se Board Adrian Penfold “welcomes the new way of working so we will build closer relationships with the local authority, and broaden the scope of the design support service we offer. We are looking forward to working across the whole city on design reviews, events and training”.

One of the most exciting emerging ideas is for d:se to convene a City Conference in 2017 for everyone who has a strong interest in how to make Brighton & Hove a better place in which to live and work.

Architect Liam Russell, chairman of the city’s Planning Professionals Forum, said: “With some hugely important changes planned to the city’s built environment, the ability of the local planning authority and agents alike to call upon an accountable body that brings expertise from across the UK is a massive step – there can be a real debate about what is good and bad in a scheme.”

The city planners are seeking ways to implement the design and place making policies in the recently adopted City Plan, so we fully expect that early projects for Design PLACE support will include the King Alfred redevelopment of leisure facilities on Hove seafront, sites around Hove Station, Anston House facing Preston Park and the Preston Barracks site.

Peter Bishop, Professor of Urban Design at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and a director at Allies and Morrison Architects, has been appointed to chair the Brighton Panel, and is supported by Vice Chairs Claire Bennie, Bob Allies and Peter Stewart. Peter says “I am delighted to be working in the dynamic environment of Brighton and Hove and I look forward to ways in which we can bring our skills and influence to the city to enable better places to emerge.”

We are working very closely with the Brighton & Hove City Council’s Chair of Planning Committee Councillor Julie Cattell, who says:  “This new support service is all about improving the quality and design of new developments in the city. It comes at an important time for the city, with a number of major new projects in the pipeline.”

Chris Lamb adds that this more collaborative approach is “a new phase with Brighton & Hove, and we are delighted to be developing this close and collaborative approach. Design support will include design reviews and also training events and annual conferences, roundtables and other opportunities to raise the profile of design.”