CABE has revamped its design review panel in the wake of strong government criticism of its alleged lack of accountability.

CABE has appointed 15 newcomers to the panel, including a visual artist, an architectural historian, two landscape architects, two experts in healthcare buildings and an historic environment expert. The head of design review, Peter Stewart, will stand down in the spring.

The move will be seen by CABE critics as a recognition that the body, which last month escaped the round of severe government cuts for cultural bodies, has to remove the impression that design review is controlled by a clique.

Eight of the current design review panel have stepped down, mostly because they have reached the end of their tenures. They are Nancy Cogswell, John Worthington, Andrew Grant, David Rudlin, Graham Morrison, Richard Portchmouth, Brian Clarke and Martin Moore.

The involvement of Moore, the managing director of Prudential Property Investment Managers, had been questioned by some observers, who raised concerns over the fact that Prudential had a commercial interest in a reviewed scheme in Croydon.

The 15 new members include: urban designer Kelvin Campbell of Urban Initiatives, architect Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West, landscape architect John Hopkins of Landscape Design Associates London, architect Eva Jiricna of Eva Jiricna Associates, historic environment expert and planner Chris Miele of RPS London, and architect and housing expert Stephen Mullin.