On behalf of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (the Department), GANSW launched the NSW State Design Review Panel (SDRP) in April 2018. The design review pilot program was established to deliver the principles and ambitions of Better Placed and to provide a consistent, state-wide approach to reviewing the design quality of State Significant projects.
SDRP panellists are drawn from a pool of independent and highly qualified members with expertise in different types of development including architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and heritage. The members represent a variety of skills across design in the built environment and bring a diversity of experience and insight.
During the first 14 months of operation the SDRP reviewed $4.8 billion worth of projects. There were 89 SDRP sessions and 57 projects were reviewed. Close to half of the projects were schools, with the remainder including student and affordable housing, hospitals, universities, public institutions, new precincts, sport facilities and private mixed-use developments.
The SDRP contributes to good design by offering practical advice which proponents can action. It provides a structured forum in which critical issues can be raised earlier in the development process, helping proponents to make well-informed decisions about the design development of proposals. It is highly valued by the Department’s Planning and Assessment Group and contributes to the coordination and streamlining of approval processes by providing confidence to the consent authority on the design quality of State Significant projects.
The SDRP pilot was initially established for 12 months, following which the pilot was extended. GANSW is currently reviewing the systems and effectiveness of the Panel and working with agencies, proponents, panellists and the Department’s Planning and Assessment Group to evaluate models for a permanent SDRP.