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£150 million Aukett Fitzroy Robinson scheme blocked in Bristol

Aukett Fitzroy Robinson's controversial £150 million regeneration of St Mary le Port, Bristol has been ordered back to the drawing board.

Council leaders blocked the scheme last week, objecting to its impact on Bristol's Castle Park - a prime area of inner-city green space.

The 9,000m 2site was originally masterplanned by Feilden Clegg Bradley with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, and included apartments, offices, shops and restaurants along with a civil justice centre (AJ 16.07.01).

Last week councillor Anne White, executive member for capital projects and regeneration, urged cabinet colleagues to reject Aukett Fitzroy Robinson's current proposals and instead back a revised scheme protecting the area's green space.

Councillor White said: 'We should support an option which minimises development on Castle Park itself. I want to avoid any significant reduction of green space in this location.

'While some parts of the city are well provided for, other areas - such as the inner city - are not. It is clear that such areas would be badly hit by a major loss of green space on Castle Park.

'Our key aim for redevelopment at St Mary le Port remains the removal of the eyesore that currently blights this important location.'

Aukett Fitzroy Robinson director Stephen Atkinson insisted the decision was not a blow to the project. He told the AJ: 'We predicted this outcome after the public consultation and have presented other options which contain a greater area of park within the development.'

He added: 'It's bound to slow the development a little. There are all sorts of interesting angles about whether or not this is a better urban design solution.'

Bristol council has asked developer Deeley Freed to present a new proposal at a cabinet meeting in early 2007.

Once cabinet approval has been given for a proposal, Deeley Freed will seek planning permission for the development, said the council.

by Clive Walker

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