The Councils are committed to ensuring that Harlow and Gilston Garden Town is delivered to the highest standard. The Garden Town will exhibit high quality design in its broadest sense; architectural, urban and landscape design, planning, transport, sustainability and deliverability will all be essential elements to the creation of the Garden Town.

To help ensure that these aspirations are fulfilled, the Councils have established a Quality Review Panel to provide advice and guidance to support the delivery of high quality development in the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.


The Harlow and Gilston Quality Review Panel has been established to support the Councils in achieving high quality, innovative and sustainable placemaking. The Panel provides independent and objective advice during the policy development, planning application and delivery programme. The Garden Town Vision and Design Guide set out the strategic development principles for the Garden Town.

The Quality Review Panel provides independent, objective expert advice to the planning authorities and developers to support delivery of the Garden Town Vision and Design Guide. This includes formulation of planning policy and development strategies.

The panel also supports the Councils by advising on pre-application development proposals and on planning applications. Officers are encouraged to refer schemes to the panel at an early stage in the design process to identify and test the proposed design’s key objectives and assumptions.


The panel’s advice to the Council officers will support sound planning decisions in respect of design quality. It may assist Council officers in negotiating design improvements and support planning committee decisions, where design quality is a key consideration.


The Harlow and Gilston Quality Review Panel brings together leading professionals, working at the highest level in their field. It is made up of around 18 panel members, including the chair.

Panel members are chosen to provide a broad range of expertise with particular relevance to the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town project, including:

  • Urban design / town planning
  • Landscape architecture
  • Transport infrastructure
  • Social infrastructure
  • Sustainability
  • Development delivery
  • Heritage

Many of those appointed to the panel will have expertise and experience in more than one of these areas. For a full review, 5 panel members are selected; the composition of the panel for each review is chosen to suit the project / issue being reviewed.

Membership of the panel is reviewed regularly, at least once a year, to ensure that it provides all the necessary expertise and experience to undertake the panel’s work effectively.

From time to time, it may also be of benefit for specialist advice to be provided beyond the Panel membership. In such cases, a professional with the relevant expertise may be invited to attend a review meeting, participating in the discussion with the status of an adviser to the panel.

In support of the Councils commitment towards community engagement, and in line with Garden City principles encouraging community engagement and long-term stewardship, there may also be potential, on occasion, to invite the chair of a community group to attend Panel review meetings as an observer.

For further information see the Quality Review Panel Terms of Reference