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East Quay, Watchet by Invisible Studio © Jim Stephenson

Minehead_Friday Street_Roger

The pressure for change and the need to build more homes to address local housing needs is felt across Somerset. There is a need for the local authority to ensure that the quality of all new development is sensitive to the unique context and local character, incorporates the principles of placemaking and ensures viable resilient neighbourhoods.


Somerset Council, which came into being on 1 April 2023, brings together the services previously provided by the four district councils in Somerset (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, and South Somerset) alongside the services provided by Somerset County Council. It aims to build a greener, more sustainable Somerset, and is seeking to achieve a step change in the quality of new development.

Friday Street, Minehead © Roger Cornfoot / Geograph

To meet its commitment to achieve high quality and sustainable places that meet the needs and consider the future demands of community, Somerset Council has established a Quality Review Panel, which brings together experts to support high standards in new developments in accordance national and local policy.


The Somerset Quality Review Panel is chaired by Andrew Beharrell, Senior Advisor, Pollard Thomas Edwards.

Photo_Faithful & Gould_Somerset College of Art and Design_0.jpg

Somerset College, School of Art and Design by Stride Treglown © Faithful & Gould Somerset West


Somerset panel members

Andrew Beharrell (chair)

Irfan Alam
Helen Allen

Chris Askew
Lise Benningen
Marie Burns
Gabriela Costa 

Keith French
James Grayley

Clare Harpur

Miranda MacLaren
David Milner
Prachi Rampuria
Vivienne Ramsey
Alan Swan


Terms of reference

Taunton Museum of Somerset, by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios


Coal Orchard, Taunton by AHR

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