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Blunders force Europan to extend competition deadline

Europan, the biennial housing contest for up-and-coming architects, has been forced to extend the competition's deadline after architects pointed out a string of embarrassing gaffes in the rules.

CABE and English Partnerships, the organisers behind the UK arm of the competition, have admitted guidelines for one of the categories, a 'first phase' waterside regeneration scheme in Stoke-on-Trent, have been inaccurately scaled and contain wrong gridlines.

But furious architects claim CABE has taken two weeks to sort out the errors, leaving just 19 days to submit entries. 'Imagine you are a young architect and have to lose three streets on a scheme - this is a fundamental change,' said one unnamed competition entrant.

He added: 'No-one from Europan picked up on this during the question and answer days - it's very frustrating.'

Specifically, the proposed development site has been described as twice as large as it really is. Furthermore, gridlines have been set at 50m but should, in fact, be 100m.

In a statement admitting the gaffes, CABE said: 'It has come to our attention that some files in the full site briefing pack, for the Stoke-on-Trent site, are not at the correct scale. This was recently brought to our attention by one of the competitors for the Stoke site.'

Organisers have agreed to extend the deadline for the Stoke-on-Trent category if the errors are causing candidates 'significant difficulties' in meeting the 28th June closing date.

'Depending on responses we will take a judgment about extending the deadline for entries on the Stoke site,' added CABE.

by Clive Walker

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