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CABE design review pans first Pathfinder

CABE has added fuel to the fire consuming the government's much-maligned Pathfinder programme.

The design watchdog has used its first design review opportunity to criticise RPS Design's plan for homes in the Birmingham-Sandwell Housing Market Renewal Area.

In the wake of a design review meeting on 27 July, CABE officials have panned RPS Design's exploitation of the site's potential, stating it 'fails both as urban design and architecture'.

With no-one escaping the design watchdog's tirade, the local council's decision to approve an outline consent for access and road layout at the site has also come under fire.

In its design review report, a CABE spokesperson damned this decision, stating that 'the local planning authority is now faced with an uphill struggle to meet its stated objective to improve the quality of the area and provide lasting benefits for the community'.

The spokesperson went on to label RPS Design's ideas as a 'weak suburban model', and has questioned the developer's success at meeting its own development objectives with the proposed designs.

by Rob Sharp

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