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CABE savages Armstrong Burton's Bedford scheme

CABE has slammed Armstrong Burton Architects' Riverside Square scheme in Bedford, stating that it is 'seriously concerned' about the proposals.

The practice intends to design a mixed-use development, which will include 160 apartments, retail space, a bar and restaurant and a foot/cycle bridge as well as extensive landscaping for developer Midland City and Developments.

However, it is likely the scheme will have to go back to the drawing board after CABE recommended that it be denied planning approval.

The design watchdog panned the proposed architecture, claiming it had 'not responded to, or reinforced, the character of Bedford', adding that both the 'form and scale were inappropriate' to the surroundings.

The report said: 'We are seriously concerned about the development proposed, which we think fails in many areas -The U-shaped layout of the building has a poor relationship with the river; not least because the building will have a poor street frontage.'

It continued: 'It is our view the scheme fails to meet the requirements of PPS1 (sustainable development) and the consultation draft PPS3 (housing) that recommend that development should be informed by its wider context and create or reinforce local distinctiveness.'

And the report concluded: 'We recommend that this development is not given planning permission and that fundamental rethink is required.'

No-one from Armstrong Burton was available for comment.

by Richard Vaughan

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