Since 1999, Cabe has provided expert design consultation, Design Review and training. We’ve collaborated extensively with different clients, including developers, planners, design teams, NHS trusts, local authorities and the communities they serve. We’ve established a unique, impartial understanding of the issues our clients face.

Our skilled, professional team works with our nationwide, cross-sector network of Built Environment Experts to offer support in delivering sustainable places where people want to live and work.

Our expertise range from housing and office developments to nationally significant infrastructure projects and neighbourhood planning support, landscape design, healthcare, procurement, public space strategy and sustainable urban design.

Cabe has been extraordinarily influential in the betterment of architecture in the UK for a long time.

Rafael Vinoly



City of Oxford

Cities are the powerhouses of the UK economy, and are key to the country’s long-term growth and success.

In response to City Deals, Design Council has developed a comprehensive design service for city authorities that brings together local knowledge and world-class expertise to help deliver high-quality, prosperous places.

Our integrated and bespoke city service provides early-stage design support, review and training. We engage city officers, elected members, developers, investors and key stakeholders to build expertise and confidence to effectively deliver sustainable economic growth.

This comprehensive service delivers continuous and long-term effective support to cities, City Deals and Strategic Economic Plans.

I encourage cities across the country to look at how they could use the Design Council’s new cities programme.

Greg Clark, Minister for Science, Universities and Cities - October 2014


We work with local authorities across the country to help create better quality, prosperous places. We work at every scale, from helping communities on their neighbourhood plans to nationally significant projects including London 2012, Crossrail and the new Thames Tideway Tunnel.

  • Multidisciplinary design panels selected to meet the specific needs of each city.
  • Design support and review throughout the early stage design and planning process.
  • Strategic specialist expertise to assist in the shaping of policy.
  • Expert advice to maximise the impact of policy implementation.
  • Training to build capacity, knowledge and expertise within the Local Planning Authority.
  • Building a database of knowledge to inform continuous improvement of services for the benefit of the city.


Cabe Design Review

Case studies


Design Review is an independent, impartial process for evaluating the design quality of significant schemes that will have an impact on their environment and the town, cityscape, or public space around them.

The importance of Design Review is specifically highlighted in the National Planning Policy Framework.

Cabe Design Review is managed by an experienced professional team with the input of a panel of multi-disciplinary built environment experts. They assess the design quality of a proposal, offering constructive critical advice to ensure that good quality design is at the core of the proposal.

Since the panel was established in 1999, it has offered advice on more than 3,500 strategic projects across England.

Our impartial process offers designers and clients invaluable feedback from fellow professionals. It guarantees developers the best possible independent advice – reducing risk and expense by identifying weaknesses early on, or giving confidence that the design is on the right track.

The process is managed to the high standard established in The 10 principles of Design Review.


  • Preliminary Design Workshop: £4,000
  • Pre-application Presentation Review phase 1: £8,000 and £11,000 to £18,000 (infrastructure projects)
  • Pre-application Presentation Review phase 2: £5,000* and £5,000 to £8,000 (infrastructure projects)
  • Planning Application Review: £3,500

* Large-scale schemes will be charged £8,000.


Support services


Cabe support services

In parallel to our standard services, we deliver bespoke packages of hands-on expert support, focusing on your individual needs.

This can help at any stage of your project, preferably in the early stages, where our advice has the greatest impact on the design process. We also help define policy, and guide your strategic direction for a place, project, programme of work or organisation.
By definition, each bespoke package is different, but they include elements like:

  • Technical advice on design quality, housing, sustainability or public space
  • Help with procurement, from preparing a design brief to choosing an architect
  • A tailored day at your office to help your people embed good design in projects and practice


A bespoke programme can cost as little as £1,000 for a day’s session. Beyond that, the costs will depend on what you need.


Training and CPD


Cabe training and CPD

Cabe at Design Council run an ongoing series of affordable seminars and conferences for professionals in the built environment.

These events are designed to build capacity of individuals or teams, hone your skills, stay up to date with policy, challenge the experts and make new contacts. 

We can also build a bespoke programme to address your specific needs. Example topics include delivering good quality housing, healthcare, education and cultural buildings, infrastructure, sustainability, inclusion, public space, public art and viability.

We can help you at any stage in the development process from visioning, local and neighbourhood plans, stakeholder engagement, site allocation, brief writing, procurement, masterplanning and Design Review.

We deliver training for local authority officers and members, the private sector and community groups.


Our training can cost as little as £30 per person for seminars, or up to £300 per person for a full day of CPD. Costs for our bespoke training programmes range from £2,000 to £20,000, depending on your needs and the number of people involved.