Design in the planning process

We expect all new development to be of the highest quality and we are committed to raising the standard of design across the city, from householder developments to major residential developments. We are doing this by

  • Engaging with local residents and developers to promote good design through pre-application discussions and consultations, 
  • Creating and implementing strong design policies, and 
  • Working with the Oxford Design Review Panel

Design and Access Statements - guide for applicants

Oxford Design Review Panel

Oxford City Council in partnership with Design Council Cabe has established the Oxford Design Review Panel (ODRP).

Design Review is an independent and impartial evaluation process conducted by a panel of built environment experts and is an essential part of the planning process, Design Review Panels promote high quality design to help create better buildings, streets and public spaces in the city.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) reinforces the role of Design Review in ensuring high standards of design. ODRP operates under the nationally accepted Design Review Principles and Practice guidance document, published by Cabe.

Oxford City Council will encourage all major development proposals to be assessed by ODRP before a planning application is submitted, a fee is charged for the service

Please note the Design Review fees are currently under review and new fees will be issued by 31/05/17

Oxford Design Review Panel documents

To find out more about ODRP or to book a session please contact us, by Email or call 01865 252246.

The importance of good urban design

We want to ensure all new buildings and spaces make a positive contribution to the city and to the lives of its residents and visitors.

Good urban design with well-designed buildings and spaces is key to making places that are successful both socially and economically, good to live in, and attractive to visit. Good design helping to achieve value for money in new developments, and to make good use of scarce resources.

Helps to create lively places with distinctive character; streets and public spaces that are safe, accessible, pleasant to use and human in scale; and places that inspire because of the imagination and sensitivity of their designers. Careful urban design may even contribute to a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour.

What good design can achieve

Achieving good design is about creating places, buildings, or spaces that work well for everyone, look good, last well, and will adapt to the needs of future generations.

Good design should:

  • ensure that development can deliver a wide range of planning objectives
  • enhance the quality of buildings and spaces, by considering amongst other things form and function; efficiency and effectiveness and their impact on well being
  • address the need for different uses sympathetically.

A well-considered design process is essential to developing good quality designs of buildings and spaces. The process will consist of a number of stages, including:

  • analysis of the site and its context;
  • design development, including exploration of development options; and consultation.

Analysis will, of course, come first, however, consultation often needs to be done in parallel, and not only after the design is finalised.