Experts flock to new Better Design for Harrow initiative

Better Design Panel Launch discussion

Harrow’s 50-strong taskforce to tackle the quality of new buildings continues to gather pace, with Richard Cottrell, Eleanor Fawcett and Richard Lavington just three of the new members announced today

The Harrow Design Review Panel was launched last week, with its first meeting at the Royal College of Art, hosted by the Architecture Foundation. The Foundation’s director Ellis Woodman chaired a discussion on the borough’s priorities, while leading London architects including Fiona Scott, Mark Tuff and Judith Loesing presented their visions. Participants ranged from developers and partners to councillors and Harrow people engaged in the borough’s innovative Residents’ Regeneration Panel.

Neil Deely, partner at Metropolitan Workshop, is one of three chairs of the monthly Panel. He said: “Having grown up in Harrow, I am excited to be in a position to ensure through the Panel that new development is of the highest quality and delivers better designed buildings with the right aspect and facilities to grow communities.”

Cllr Keith Ferry, the Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for business, planning and regeneration, said: “Great things are about to happen in Harrow. Our new Design Review Panel will ensure expert advice and high quality building design. With a number of exciting projects in the pipeline, the panel will help both build a better Harrow and bring huge benefits for our residents, businesses and the local economy.”

Tobias Goevert is Harrow’s Head of Regeneration and Design. He said: “This is an important moment for Harrow. There is general consensus that not enough good projects have been built in the last decades falling short of standards for when Metroland was conceived, however, there are good news stories in the planning pipeline. Our policy, planning, economic and regen teams have been busy working towards this for many years. We have put in place a broad and ambitious Regeneration strategy, delivered new public realm, meanwhile uses, events and training as well as engaged positively with developers and procured talented teams for our sites to set the benchmark. We look forward to working with this new pool of talented people on raising the benchmark for design.”

Harrow’s Design Review Panel contains 50 experts from the fields of architecture, planning, engineering and development. It will meet every month to examine all significant schemes put forward in Harrow borough, both before and after they apply for planning permission. It will give special focus to the Heart of Harrow Mayor of London Housing Zone and Opportunity Area, as it looks to support the Council’s ambitions for the borough’s £1.75 billion Building a Better Harrow programme. Design training and up-skilling for Council officers and members, along with a refresh of harrow’s existing design guidance and policy, are all included in the Panel’s remit.

Notes to Editors:
For more information on Harrow’s regeneration programme contact or visit

The launch took place on Monday 10th July at the Royal College of Art.

Fiona Scott from Gort Scott presented on back-lands developments. Mark Tuff from Sergison Bates presented on building form and character. Judith Loesing from East presented on suburban identity and grain.

Co-chair Neil Deely has over 20 years’ experience designing, reviewing and enabling architectural projects. Since 2007 he has been a member of CABE’s National DRP chairing project reviews of national significance.

Harrow Better Design Review Panel Chair Biographies

Harrow Better Design Review Panel Membership