The Forum considers projects of varying types and scale including significant individual buildings, commercial and residential developments, public realm schemes, landscape improvements, town and city centre renewal, engineering projects, heritage conservation and cultural provision such as theatres, art galleries and performance spaces.

The Forum will consider strategic design proposals such as briefs, design strategies and masterplans, and major development proposals. It may also consider smaller schemes and planning submissions.

Schemes should be of significance to the city. Significance is not confined to size, location or type of project, but may be flagship schemes or major urban redevelopments. They might have demonstrable local importance and may have a large element of public investment.

Selection of schemes will take into account:

  • the public impact of the development (e.g. major landmark buildings or large groups of buildings or public cityscape schemes);
  • the importance of the site (historic, cultural or ecological importance; strategic sites);
  • the innovative aspects of the project (new aspects of scale, materials, context, form or materials); and
  • whether the nature of the scheme exemplifies some particular development problem

It is expected that schemes with a large element of public funding will automatically be referred to the Forum but it is hoped that the wider development community will see Forum review of their projects as an important element of the design process.

The Forum may consider a project several times through its design and development process if it is sufficiently important either at full Forum sessions or at consultations.

An applicant wishing to consult the Forum should contact the Chair or Manager on the contact us page.

How the meeting works

Each design review meeting begins with a brief overview, usually presented by the client or a design team member, describing the project and the brief. Following this, the architect or lead designer, presents the project in more detail.

The planning officer and other interested parties may be invited to speak. Where schemes involve buildings or sites of historic significance representatives of English Heritage may be asked to comment.

Sometimes, a meeting will be preceded by a site visit with all panel members or members may be asked to visit a site or group of sites that are the subject of forthcoming cases.

After the meeting, the Forum issues a formal response in writing, detailing the views of the Forum. The response is sent to the client/design team and to Bristol City Council. Members attending receive a copy.

Public release of the response is carried out only with the permission of the clients, designers and/or developers.
The Forum will normally consider 3 proposals in the course of each meeting.

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