In October we inducted an expert panel of built environment specialists to form a new Design Review Panel to support North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) with the development of its key strategic sites. The panel brings a range of skills and independent expertise relevant to the masterplanning and delivery of large strategic sites to supplement the skills available in-house at NHDC.

The panel will support high quality planning and design to protect and enhance the district’s townscape, landscape, environmental and heritage value and to create sustainable new places. Planning and designing such large developments is complex and requires an integrated and interdisciplinary approach. In addition to their multidisciplinary expertise, many of the panel members also bring local knowledge from living or working in Hertfordshire or the surrounding areas.

The induction was an opportunity for the panel to hear from officers about the council’s design aspirations. It was also a chance for the panel to visit some of the key strategic sites and to observe the distinctive qualities of the towns and the character of the North Herts landscape.

The first design workshop following the induction was for a site which forms part of the Letchworth Garden City Conservation Area. A proposal to bring forward an 100% affordable housing scheme to replace an estate of post-war pre-fabricated ‘Hawksley’ bungalows that are no longer fit for purpose focused on establishing the appropriate design principles and processes in response to rigorous contextual analysis.

North Hertfordshire Design Review Panel

Paul Reynolds (chair)
Andrew Cameron
Annemarie de Boom
Geoff Gardner
Ione Braddick
Janie Price
Jas Bhalla
Kieran Perkins
Mehron Kirk
Nicola Longland
Peter Neal
Steve Hill
Vinita Dhume



Image source: Design South East