Fulham Football Club has replaced Snell Associates on its £70 million stadium development with Glasgow practice the Miller Partnership. The move has sparked a legal wrangle between Snell Associates and the club, while both English Heritage and CABE have branded the situation 'disappointing'.
The architect's 'substitution' came to light after the west London club received the green light from the High Court for its 30,000-seat stadium last week. The Miller Partnership worked on the scheme previously as the project auditor. Solicitors for Snell Associates confirmed in a statement that Snell retained copyright of the planning-approved design, and that it had 'not granted a licence for Fulham FC' to use the design material.
CABE design review committee head Peter Stewart told the AJ he was greatly disappointed at the attitude of the club: 'The scheme was on a very sensitive site - it has a number of Victorian terraces around it, and getting a talented architect like Robin to do the design was part of the sales pitch.'
English Heritage was also disheartened. A spokesperson for the body stated: 'We are disappointed about the change in the design team and regret Robin Snell is not to work alongside the Miller Partnership in taking the scheme forward.'
The spokesperson added that EH would look carefully at any new planning application by Miller and that they would be 'carefully checked to ensure that quality and sensitivity of design has not been lost.'
CABE will publish Protecting Design Quality Post Planning Permission this month.