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CABE slams Cassidy + Ashton's Preston scheme

Cassidy + Ashton Architecture's plans for a major mixed-use development in Preston, Lancashire, have been dashed after CABE and council planners recommended it for refusal.

The scheme proposed a 256-unit residential block with 15 offices on the lower floors in Preston's city centre, but council planners deemed it unacceptable, with CABE calling it 'ungainly'.

The CABE report stated: 'We think the project, as it stands, is unsatisfactory and should not, in its current form, be given planning permission - we do not think it is of sufficient quality to match the aspirations of the local planning authority and its citizens.'

The report went on to conclude that the planning and architecture is 'bombastic and indicates a lack of understanding of the best of Preston's urban grain and history- A fresh start is required.'

The scheme was a revision of outline plans submitted to Preston Council last August, which proposed a U-shaped building which varied in height, but the practice was sent back to the drawing board.

However, despite the refusal both developer Sligo Properties and Cassidy + Ashton will be rethinking the scheme.

Practice principal Alban Cassidy said: 'We're going to review the scheme and address the concerns raised by the council and other parties.'

by Richard Vaughan

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