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Coronavirus – planning duty desk service

The planning duty desk will temporarily not be providing a service at Hackney Service Centre. Instead, please email and we will reply by email or telephone. For details about a current application, please contact the case officer directly. For detailed advice, please see our pre-application service. Further information on planning can also be found on Planning Portal. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Design Review Panel

The panel offers the Council and applicants, independent design and architecture 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

Terms of reference

Selection of schemes for design review

The opportunity to present a scheme to the panel will be by invitation only. Schemes will be selected using the following criteria:

  • major or strategic sites
  • controversial or difficult sites due to impact on the public realm
  • sites with special significance to the local area and interests
  • sites which have the potential to significantly add to the quality of urban design in the area; and
  • schemes involving community or public use

Panel chairs

Louise Goodison, Cazenove Architects

Louise Goodison is a director of Cazenove Architects, a CABE built environment expert and heritage design advisor to local authorities, developers and communities throughout London and the South East. Louise is also an advisor on church buildings.

Paul Reynolds, Urben

Paul is a chartered landscape architect and director of Urben, a planning, landscape and urban design practice based in Hackney Wick. The studio specialises in development, masterplanning and public realm work in complex urban environments around the world.

Russell Brown, Hawkins\Brown

Russell has been a chair of the Hackney Design Review Panel since 2007. He is a founding partner of Hawkins\Brown who are the architects for iCity, Park Hill in Sheffield, Gillett Square and parts of Woodberry Park.

Stephen Cherry, Horden Cherry Lee Architects

Stephen has been managing director of Horden Cherry Lee Architects since 1999 and formerly 13 years at MJP Architects. He has extensive experience in urban design and inner city redevelopment and has lived in Hackney for over 30 years.


Gary Rawlings, Make Architects

“We presented 145 City Road to The Hackney Design Review Panel twice. On both occasions we found the feedback constructive and well informed. The changes that were implemented following these comments were a positive contribution to the project and we have been able to use these to further develop the scheme”.

James Foster RIBA, Ron Arad Architects Ltd

“In October 2011, we presented our Willow Street Hotel scheme to the Design Review Panel. The presentation was followed by a lively and intelligent discussion and we were issued with a positive and professional written feedback document. DRP comments were directly referenced by planning and design officers and quoted within their report to the Planning Committee recommending approval. The scheme was approved at Committee in May 2012.”

Russell Brown, Hawkins\Brown

“The Design Review Panel has achieved a great deal since it started – it has evolved a distinct style of honest, pro-active 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 Awards have helped support and inform the whole design review process in the Council – reminding people of the end results of planning process that works hard to encourage great, modern design.”

Page updated on: 20 January 2020

Hackney Design Review Panel