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Kings Waterfront fine;not sure about CABE


Your article on the Kings Waterfront (News, AJ 15.7.04) is surprising, incorrect and raises doubts about CABE's ethics.

Having presented our Stage C design to CABE on 3 June, with Bill Hanway of EDAW and Neil Porter of Gustafson Porter, we were all of the opinion that the design was extremely well received. Indeed, our letter from CABE dated 21 June backs this up. In the opening paragraph it states: 'In general we feel that the revised masterplan (by EDAW) is moving in the right direction, and the civic facilities building (WEA) has the potential to be an excellent design.

The conclusion (quoted in full) reads as follows: 'We support most of the major moves proposed in this revised scheme and feel that this has the potential to be a successful approach to development on this site. The next stage is to work through fully the consequences of these moves, particularly the primacy of the civic facilities and the landscape strategy. The quality of the other buildings, including the housing to the south of the site, will be crucial to the overall success of the scheme, and we would like to see details of this in due course.'' Certainly, in the body of the four-page letter there were some minor quibbles - mostly about site layout and landscaping, which are still in their early stages - but there was no evidence of CABE being unconvinced about the strategic aspects of the design.

In my opinion, the CABE comments should have stayed confidential, since at the time the design had not been submitted for planning. But if the press do comment on CABE findings, then at least it should be accurately reported without spin.

Chris Wilkinson, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, London

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