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Defiant Wilkinson answers Kings Dock critics

Wilkinson Eyre director Chris Wilkinson has vowed to complete his massive Kings Dock development in Liverpool on time and on budget, following further criticism of the project from Liverpool City Council.

The double-Stirling Prize winner has promised that the project - for an arena, conference centre and residential quarter - will not mirror the escalation in cost of Will Alsop's recently dumped 'Cloud', sited further along the famous waterfront.

Wilkinson told the AJ that there are enormous pressures to keep to the tight budget and timetable, but promised that 'we have brought in schemes like this before and we will do it again'.

'The city is just getting used to development on this kind of scale and is a little bit jittery about it, ' he said. 'But we are comfortable with this and we are sure we can come up with the goods.' Wilkinson spoke in the aftermath of the publication of a council report outlining a series of concerns over the project's future.

'There is a huge raft of issues that have not been fully addressed yet, ' said Eddie Clein, chairman of the council's Regeneration Select Committee.

'My concerns range from the overemphasis on housing to the lack of adequate parking. Parking is an enormous issue and has been totally underestimated.

'My overall view is that it is essential to deliver this project on time and within budget by 2008, but some components are still not right.

We, as a select committee, have serious reservations, ' Clein added.

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