BUDF’s structure takes the form of a governing steering group which oversees two panels – the design review panel and the strategy group. Administrative support is provided by The Architecture Centre.

The design review panel holds 10 sessions a year offering design guidance on significant schemes in the city. Panel members are drawn from a pool of over 30 professionals.

The strategy group advises Bristol City Council on wider issues of design policy, strategic master planning and design frameworks.

The role of the steering group is to give guidance and direction to the wider Forum, monitoring its overall strategy, finances, management and effectiveness.

Constituted as an independent organization, we receive funding and administrative support from Bristol City Council and we report annually on progress. We rely heavily on the voluntary input of our panel members, who give freely of their professional services.

Although the Forum is not a part of the statutory planning process, the planning department is informed when a scheme is submitted for Design Review and a representative of the department is invited to attend the meeting.

The Forum’s views count as a ‘material consideration’ when the case is determined by the planning authority as a planning application. The panel’s written reports are made publicly available when a project is submitted for planning.

The following quotations are from people who have found the Forum’s services useful:

“A very positive part of the design process. Beneficial to have a panel of experts to discuss the scheme with.”

“The feedback from the panel was very helpful… and will give some weight to the consideration of the urban realm in the overall design.”

“A positive interactive experience.”

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