A new Design Excellence Panel (DEP) has been set up by two East Sydney councils to review and provide guidance on upcoming projects in the area. Comprising of architects and urban planners, the eight-member Design Excellence Panel, established by the Randwick City Council and Waverley Council, will “focus on providing consultancy on forthcoming development projects with a view to promoting exemplary architecture and an enhanced urban city environment”.

Mayor of Randwick Noel D’Souza explains that the panel will play a critical role in shaping the future state of Sydney and urban environments.

The panel will consist of Michael Heenan (CEO and principal, Allen Jack and Cottier), Jon Johannsen (principal, Architects Johannsen and Associates), Richard Nugent (associate director, Conybeare Morrison International), Kerry Clare (Clare Design), Jonathan Knapp (urban design director, SJB), Alf Lester (director, LFA Pacific) and Tom Rivard (McGregor Coxall).

Previously, a three-person Design Review Panel (DRP) formed in 2004, had reviewed over 1,000 development applications, masterplans, draft planning policies and other design initiatives. The expanded size of the new Design Excellence Panel will mean that they can provide guidance on larger scale private and public projects.