Shaping Hackney

Award winning Hackney Marshes Centre

A team of 56 professionals who specialise in architecture, urban design, development, sustainability and conservation have been selected as Hackney's new Design Review Panel (DRP) to help shape the built environment of the borough.

The DRP was first established in 2006 to assist in improving the design quality across all types of development. Since then the panel has reviewed over 150 schemes, many of which are now built and have gone on to win and be nominated for prestigious awards.

A successful drive to refresh the panel began in March 2013 and received more than 140 applications.  These were assessed based on a number of requirements including professional experience, qualifications and knowledge of Hackney.

The new team's first design review session is scheduled for July 2013 and the panel will provide independent professional advice on:

  • Development proposals that may significantly affect the urban design of Hackney
  • Major or strategic scheme planning applications
  • Council frameworks and initiatives with urban design implications
  • Significant and strategic issues and policies.

Russell Brown, DRP chair and founding partner of HawkinsBrown, said: "The Design Review Panel has achieved a great deal since it started - it has evolved a distinct style of honest, proactive and passionate operation that reflects the unique character of Hackney, and the planning authority's determination to attract the best designers to the area.

"The Hackney Design Awards have helped support and inform the whole Design Review process in the Council - reminding people of the end results of a planning process that works hard to encourage great, modern design."

Hackney is one of the smallest London boroughs by area but one of the most densely populated with a diverse and rich built environment. It also has a fine heritage with 29 conservation areas and 1,300 statutorily listed buildings.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Hackney Council
I'd like to thank and welcome all of our new Design Review Panel members who have volunteered their time to help shape the future built environment of Hackney. We now have expertise from not only in Hackney but across London to help inform planning officers, developers and architects working on major planning decisions for developments across the borough. The intention is to encourage high quality development in our borough, development that contributes to improving the quality of our lives.
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Hackney Council

Louise Goodison, a chair of the DRP and director of Hackney-based Cazenove Architects, said: "Hackney is a vibrant, exciting place, which faces challenging issues of change and development. I am excited at the prospect of playing a part in advising and guiding the direction of that change so that it benefits the multifaceted communities and neighbourhoods of the borough.

"This means balancing housing provision with community and public services, creating buildings that relate to  human scale and perception as well as promoting a dynamic, integrated public realm, encouraging people to engage and communicate across cultural and physical barriers."

All panel members are giving their time and expertise on a voluntary basis and are scheduled to meet monthly.  Four chairs have been appointed to attend meetings on a rotating basis: Russell Brown of HawkinsBrown; Stephen Cherry of Hordon Cherry Lee; Louise Goodison of Cazenove Architects and Paul Reynolds from Atkins.