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CABE pushes BBC's design rating with A&M approval

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has given a thumbs up to Allies and Morrison's plan for a £200 million BBC media village in White City, west London, as the corporation looks to choose a private-sector partner.

A detailed application for five of the buildings is due to go before Hammersmith and Fulham planners this summer. The complex includes eight blocks such as a music centre and offices.

Paul Finch, chairman of CABE's design review committee, said it had the makings of an excellent scheme. 'The commitment to integrating the site into the local area and opening up new public spaces including gardens is very welcome.'

The BBC submitted a detailed application for the broadcast centre, energy block and central office in December (AJ 21.12.01). The remaining five buildings for the 132,000m 2development are at outline planning stage.

They include a music centre to house the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a showpiece 'gateway' building, two office blocks to be let, and a leisure centre. A BBC spokeswoman said the planners wanted the site to include facilities for locals.

The timescale hinges on planning but the BBC wanted its scheme finished by 2007, she said. It hopes to choose a preferred bidder for part funding within a month. The consortia is Insight, which includes Land Use, and Foresite with Amey Ventures.

The BBC bought the White City site in the mid 1980s looking to build on the undeveloped land.

But only one studio has gone up, which will be integrated into the new scheme.

Allies and Morrison was unavailable for comment. Graham Morrison, a member of the CABE committee, was not present at the talks.

Plans to regenerate a castle site closed to the public for 1,000 years have also won over CABE.

The commission commended the £15 million scheme for a hotel, restaurant, roof garden and heritage centre in the heart of Oxford. It includes a 72-bed hotel conversion of an old prison and 17-bed extension with roof garden by Jeremy Dixon. Edward Jones. The extension will be linked to the new hotel by a bridge.

ADP Architects is working on a heritage centre and a health and leisure block, and the entire project is being masterplanned by engineer Alan Baxter and Associates. The designers aim to restore existing listed buildings.

CABE said the scheme, in for detailed planning consent, was 'commendable, appropriate, intelligent, and opens up a whole new part of central Oxford.' The two-year building programme could start late this year.

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