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Raising design quality in the East Midlands

August 5, 2009

CABE have just released their annual report, and it makes interesting reading for all those interested in improving design quality in the region.

As Opun is the regional centre for delivering CABE’s programme of Building for Life training it is personally pleasing to hear that nationally 140 officers of local authorities have received the Assessor Training.   However, the somewhat slower turnover by CABE in terms of turning out actual Accredited Assessors will need to be addressed swiftly to ensure that Assessors are in place in local planning authorities, and able to add real benefit as part of the planning and policy monitoring process.

Opun are in the process of rolling out a programme of awareness raising events in respect of Building for Life, to be followed by two training events in the region.

The CABE report also identifies a slow down in schemes coming to National Design Review as a result of the current economic climate.  Yet a slowdown in interest in Design Review is not something we have noticed here in the East Midlands. On the regional Design Review Panel run by Opun, interest in this free service to both developers and local authorities continues to see an increase in uptake.

I believe that this is in no small part due to the added value that the design review process can offer.  The independent review of a scheme by the Design Review Panel can provide an increase in certainty to developers that their schemes are of a high design quality or state where improvements could be made.  For local authorities the process can provide reassurance or affirmation on points of design contention.

For more information on either Building for Life or the East Midlands Design Review Panel please contact James Carpenter at Opun.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 5, 2009 6:38 pm


    I found your blog article very interesting and informative. I had not quite realised REM’s capacity for design review and assistance in place shaping.

    If you are able, I would be interested to learn of the BfL events and to receive an invite where possible.

    Kind regards

    David Bainbridge MRTPI

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