Westminster announces Design Review Panel members | Westminster City Council Skip to main content

Westminster announces Design Review Panel members

Architectural, environmental and engineering experts will provide independent advice on major developments. Applications opened in February and 32 panel members have been appointed.

Strand Aldwych

Westminster City Council has unveiled its first ever Design Review Panel, a board of experts that will provide independent advice on major development, planning, public realm and regeneration projects in the city.
The 32 members of the panel, including three co-chairs, have been drawn from various fields of expertise including architecture, ecology, sustainability, transport, inclusive design, landscape architecture, heritage, and urban design. The panel will complement the council’s in-house expertise, championing high quality sustainable design across all development projects. 

The three co-chairs are Catherine Burd, founding director of Burd Haward Architects and a conservation specialist, Damion Burrows, managing director at DMBA and broadcaster on property-related TV shows, and Vinita Dhume Director of Masterplanning and Urban Design, Savills.

The panel will guide the design of proposals to ensure they add value to local communities and help meet the council’s ambitious targets to create new jobs, new homes, and become a net zero city by 2040.

Councillor James Small-Edwards, Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

I am thrilled to announce Westminster’s first ever Design Review Panel. This panel of experts from a broad range of disciplines will work with the council and provide independent advice on planning decisions.

There are more than 11,000 listed buildings in Westminster, and the city is home to some of the most recognisable buildings and public spaces in the world. 

This panel will ensure the future development of the city is sustainable, supports our communities, and maintains the high quality of architectural design that makes Westminster so special.

Design Review Panel Co-chair, Catherine Burd, said:

I am delighted to have been appointed to lead Westminster’s new Design Review Panel. Our aim will be to ensure design quality is placed at the heart of decision making in the City.  I will bring experience gained from chairing Quality Review Panels in both Camden and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, together with expertise of delivering residential and cultural projects in historic environments.

I’m interested in exploring how the need for growth is balanced against impacts on existing communities, and how new development can contribute to the wider public good in our city – be it through provision of high quality new open spaces, well-designed sustainable new buildings or creative, adaptive reuse of existing buildings.

Co-chair Damion Burrows said:

The City of Westminster hosts some of London’s finest architectural treasures, and is the global face of the UK for many. Having designed and delivered many projects within the City over decades, I am thrilled to join a panel which is able to both preserve and progress Westminster’s celebrated reputation for excellence.

I look forward to working with my co-chairs and a strong, diverse panel to ensure that new developments share our aspirations for design excellence, sustainability and contextual empathy, making Westminster a successful and sustainable shared city.

Co-chair Vinita Dhume said:

As a local resident and working professional within the borough, I am looking forward to seeing a greater impact on design delivery and place shaping. Fundamental improvements are already being made to public spaces, neighbourhoods, and quality of life for residents in recent years – and this journey will continue with renewed energy and drive from a dedicated panel which brings a broad breadth of knowledge on various aspects of design.

I feel privileged to be part of this fantastic new cohort of diverse professionals, all deeply committed to making positive contributions to future good growth and to enable further sustainable placemaking in Westminster.

Members of the Design Review Panel and their specialisms
Name Specialisms
Deborah Saunt Architecture, urban design and public realm
Abagail Batchelor Housing, architecture
Mike Stiff Architecture and urban design
Katy Gharemani Architecture, housing and mixed use
Justin Nicholls Architecture, place making, retrofitting
Marion Baeli Architecture, retrofitting and sustainability
Amir Ramezani Architecture, master planning and public realm
Juliet Aston Architecture, conservation architecture
Jade Huang Architecture
David Ogunmuyiwa Architecture and urban design
Petra Marko Placemaking, public spaces, architecture
Deborah Nagan Landscape architecture, public realm, urban design
Archie Bashford Landscape architecture, urban design and planning
Chao Gao Public realm, landscape architecture
Mirko Farnetani Embodied carbon, circular economy and regenerative design
Camilla El-Dash Environmental design and sustainability, architecture
Amad Kayani Sustainability, buildings services engineer, historic buildings and retrofit
Andrew Moore Sustainability
Liz Smith Heritage
Sarah Jackson Heritage
Joanna Kelly Heritage
Timur Tatlioglu Heritage
Helen Kane Inclusive design
Rita Olufunmi Adeoye Inclusive design
Dr Maayan Matz Ashkenazi Urban design, anthropology
Kosh Kar Transport, infrastructure
Lorna Sewell Transport, urban design
Stacey Cougill Ecology
Biljana Savic Urban Design/ Community-led design

Published: 24 July 2023