Constructive Voices News

Why Community Review Groups Should Be Part Of All Building Decisions

todayAugust 23, 2022


Why Community Review Groups Should Be Part Of All Building Decisions

Do you live or work in or within 2km of the Old Oak and Park Royal area? Have you ever wanted to have your say in the planning and urban design process in buildings being built in your local area?

The Mayor of London’s development corporation for Old Oak and Park Royal (OPDC) is now recruiting new members for its Community Review Group.

The Community Review group is the first of its kind in the UK and it may be setting the standard for the future by paving the way for other Community Review Groups. 

The Group consists of twelve members, who have been selected through an application and interview process. All members live or work locally and are of different ages and backgrounds.

Old Oak and Park Royal community group

This reflects the diverse make-up of the Old Oak and Park Royal Community. The group is chaired by Tony Burton who is an independent engagement consultant. 

Tony Burton, Community Review Group Chair said:

“It is an opportunity for local voices to be heard and for the group’s recommendations to change the area for the better.” 

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) was established by the Mayor of London to oversee the delivery of 25,500 new and affordable houses and generate 56,000 new jobs. 

In 2018, The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) partnered with Frame Projects to set up a Community Review Group to support OPDC in achieving high-quality placemaking that reflects the priorities of the local people. 

This Community Review Group provides local people with an opportunity to have their say on key building decisions such as the planning and design process.

By giving their views on projects and planning applications and influencing placemaking, the group plays an active role in ensuring that new developments serve the needs of the community both now and in the future. They make sure that new development considers opportunities to create a better urban environment for the people living and working in the area. 

Carola Addington, Community Review Group member said:

“It’s been a privilege to be a member of the Community Review group for the last two years. I’ve welcomed the opportunity to look at development plans for places that I know well, and to ask questions and contribute to the discussions. I discovered things about my neighbourhood that I hadn’t known before!”

The Community Review Group engages in direct discussion with developers and OPDC officers to ensure that new developments are of the highest possible quality and reflect the needs of the local community. The group’s discussions are turned into formal reports which are taken seriously and are shared with OPDC’s Planning Committee before they make their planning decisions.

So far the Community Review Group have been very successful. To date, the group has influenced several major developments in the area, including in North Acton town centre and Atlas Wharf by helping to shape community facilities.

Liz Peace CBE, OPDC’s Chair says:

“Our Community Review Group has already started to influence the future of the Old Oak and Park Royal area, feeding into many exciting and high-profile planning applications. With our Local Plan newly adopted, the Group will be moving up a gear with a range of opportunities to shape the developments that will define what our area will become, so now is a fantastic time to join the Group and get involved.”

It is clear that there are many benefits to having a Community Review Group involved in the building decisions in their area. For example, the members of the group have a diverse set of skills and possess experience and knowledge about the area that external people may not.

Community Review Groups building construction

This gives them a greater understanding of the local area, the residents, and the way it works. The group can also provide positive advice from a community perspective on proposals for new development.

Given the success of the Community Review Group for the Old Oak and Park Royal area, many more areas should be looking to introduce these types of groups. Getting Community Review Groups involved in the building decisions, can ensure that new developments satisfy all the parties involved in the process.

As the members of these review groups are local, they know and understand the area better than external workers, it makes sense for them to be involved in the building decisions that affect them and their place of home or work.

If you’re interested and want to find out more, please send an email to or call us on 020 8164 9980. The team will then send you a short application form.

Written by: Chloe C

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