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Community Review Panel 

What is happening in Dacorum?

There will be significant new development across Dacorum in the coming years, required to deliver much-needed housing. We're currently preparing our new Local Plan to guide development and change to 2036. Most of the growth will be in and around existing towns. Hemel Hempstead has been awarded Garden Town status by central Government, which creates an historic opportunity to transform the town with 11,000 new homes and 10,000 jobs.

We aspire to deliver this growth in a way that is inclusive and empowering to existing and new communities, maximises opportunities and enhances quality of life. To achieve this, it is essential to understand the views of people living, working and studying in Dacorum.

What is the Community Review Panel?

The Community Review Panel is one of the ways through which we plan to better understand the needs of the local community. The panel plays an independent, advisory role in Dacorum’s planning work, discussing issues including housing, transport, public and green spaces, and the environment. This will help ensure that new developments are of the highest possible design quality, and meet the needs of people living, working and studying in the area, now and in the future.

The panel meets once a month to discuss development proposals and give its views. Each of these discussions is turned into a formal report and feeds into decisions made by us. The panel’s recommendations are taken seriously as a formal part of the planning process.

Who is on the panel?

The Community Review Panel has 17 members, who are of all backgrounds and ages (18 or over), who know their local area and who want to positively influence its future. The members of the panel have a diverse range of skills, experience and knowledge.

The panellists were selected through a formal application process, where they demonstrated their:

  • strong understanding of the local area, the way it works, its history, its inhabitants, and local needs
  • ability to provide constructive advice, from a community perspective, on proposals for development and change, as well as the needs of existing residential and business communities
  • ability to make confident contributions in meetings
  • ability to collaborate and respect the contribution of others in panel discussions.

The panel is chaired by Tony Burton, a community engagement expert with over 25 years’ experience on the boards of major charities, and an extensive track record of working with local communities and volunteers seeking to influence their neighbourhoods.

The panel members are:

  • George Bull
  • Richard Dewhurst
  • Anna FitzPatrick
  • Quentin Halfyard
  • Cheryl Hall
  • Brian Kazer
  • John Kjorstad
  • Angela Lynch
  • Bethany Marchant-Roe
  • Carole Niven
  • Michael Ridley
  • Andrew Roberts
  • Max Smith
  • Joseph Stopps
  • Ky Teasdale
  • Zachary Thole
  • Jack Watford

How often does the panel meet?

One Community Review Panel meeting is provisionally scheduled every month on a Tuesday evening between 6.30pm and 8pm.

The following dates are currently set for panel meetings in 2022:

  • 18 January
  • 1 February
  • 1 March
  • 5 April
  • 3 May
  • 7 June
  • 5 July
  • August - no meeting
  • 6 September
  • 4 October
  • 1 November
  • 6 December

How is the panel managed?

Frame Projects is responsible for recruiting and managing the panel, to make sure that it is independent, properly briefed and able to effectively communicate its views to the Council. It will provide panel members with the support needed for their role through free training sessions. These might include help with reading plans and maps, understanding the basics of urban design and development proposals, or confidence in getting their views across in panel meetings.

Review reports

Reports of panel reviews are produced by Frame Projects and summarise the comments and advice provided by the panel and provide clear recommendations on the suitability of proposals to an area and the needs of its communities. Reports are used to inform pre-application design and discussions, and decision making by Dacorum Officers and Councillors.

The panel have reviewed 10 schemes in the 2020-2021 period. An example of two of these schemes that have been submitted for planning, and the panel’s comments, are available on the page links below (under "Design and Access Statement"):

Further information

More information, including the panel’s terms of reference, can be found in the  Community Review Panel Handbook (PDF 8MB).

If you have any queries or would like to be kept up to date with Community Review Panel news, please email dacorum@frame-projects.co.uk.