HS2 Independent Design Panel

The panel helps ensure that, through great design, HS2 delivers real economic, social and environmental benefits for the whole country.


Design Panel handbook

Design Panel biographies


Remit and principles

The HS2 (High Speed Two) Independent Design Panel was set up in 2015, at the request of the Department for Transport, to provide professional expertise and advice to HS2 Ltd.

The panel helps ensure that, through great design, HS2 delivers real economic, social and environmental benefits for the whole country. It helps to enable decision making at the early stages of project development, and it reviews and critiques outcomes at key stages in the design process. The panel acts as an advisor and a critical friend to HS2 Ltd, in an independent non-executive capacity. It does not make design decisions, but offers impartial recommendations and advice.

The panel is chaired by Prof. Sadie Morgan; secretariat support to the panel is provided by Frame Projects.

Panel Handbook

The Panel Handbook provides a clear understanding of how the HS2 Independent Design Panel works, setting out the design panel meeting process and the contributions made by its members. It also provides advice on issues such as conflicts and declarations of interest, confidentiality and conduct. The Panel Handbook includes biographies of all panel members.

Panel Handbook

HS2 Design Vision

“Our challenge to every design team is to meet the fundamentals of good design and then go that extra distance to deliver the innovation and the value we are seeking for every citizen in the UK. No project is too small. Everything we create is designed, and every discipline is covered in our interpretation of design.” (HS2 Design Vision, 2017)

HS2 Design Vision

As critical friend the HS2 Independent Design Panel is guided by the HS2 Design Vision which sets out the role that design can play in making High Speed Two a catalyst for growth across Britain. The HS2 Design Vision sets out nine principles grouped around three themes: People, Place, and Time.

The panel uses the framework of the HS2 Design Vision to advise and hold to account HS2 Ltd’s leadership, project teams and partners, and help them to make the right design choices.

HS2 Ltd has also developed a range of other design ambition documents, including the Sustainability Approach, Customer Service Vision, and Landscape Design Approach. In addition to the HS2 Design Vision, the panel uses these to help guide the advice and scrutiny it provides for HS2.

For more information about HS2 and its design ambitions please refer to the HS2 Ltd website.

Phase One Station Design Panels

As part of the HS2 Phase One Hybrid Bill process, the Secretary of State for Transport agreed to establish Station Design Review Panels that will participate in the design process for each of the four Phase One stations, and surrounding public squares and spaces. The four station design panels are:

  • Curzon Street Station Design Panel
  • Interchange Station Design Panel
  • Old Oak Common Station Design Panel
  • Euston Station Design Panel

The membership and operation for each panel is jointly agreed between HS2 Ltd and identified stakeholders, including the local planning authority.

Design Panel communications

Many of the discussions the panel is involved with take place at an early stage, and so are confidential. However, to provide the public with some insight into its activities, the panel produces a series of regular communications and updates


Newsletters provide information on the panel’s activities over the previous one to two months. This includes reports on recent review meetings, and an insight into some of the people involved in championing design quality on HS2.

Design Panel newsletters

Chair’s reports

Chair’s reports provide an overview of emerging issues and topics identified during panel discussions throughout the previous quarter.

Design Panel chair’s reports

Case studies

Case studies focus on a specific topic identified during design panel discussions. They tend to include information on meetings the panel has attended and its advice and recommendations.

Design Panel case studies

Schedule 17 stage

HS2 Phase One was granted ‘deemed planning permission’ (Section 20 of the HS2 Phase One Act). Schedule 17 to the HS2 Phase One Act puts in place a process for the approval of certain matters relating to the design and construction of the railway. This requires HS2 Ltd to seek approval of these matters from the relevant planning authority.

Schedule 17 marks a different stage of the HS2 project and requires a tailored approach to the Design Panel’s involvement. It has been agreed that ahead of each Schedule 17 submission, there will be a Schedule 17 stage Design Panel meeting for schemes where the panel has commented previously.

Schedule 17 submissions are ‘fixed’ propositions and, as such, the Panel’s comments focus on whether it feels that high quality design that meets the aspirations of the HS2 Design Vision has been achieved.

Schedule 17 stage Design Panel reports are shared with HS2 Ltd (and its supply chain), who have responsibility for including a copy of the report alongside the Schedule 17 submission, and incorporating responses to the report within Design and Access Statements.

Below is a copy of all Schedule 17 stage Design Panel reports, as well as relevant Design and Access Statements, for schemes which have been submitted to a local planning authority. Full copies of Schedule 17 submissions, and information regarding their status in the decision-making process, should be accessed via the relevant local planning authority website.

Schedule 17 Submissions

Published 24 October 2016
Last updated 20 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. Schedule 17 stage information added.

  2. Information about the Design panel has been updated, adding links to its newsletters, reports and case studies.

  3. Updated the pdf files.

  4. Biographies updated

  5. Bio's updated

  6. Updated Design Panel biographies

  7. First published.