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CABE slates DLA's Burnley College in new schools role

CABE has panned DLA Architects' proposals for a new Burnley College campus, claiming the designs were 'ill-conceived'.

The plans for the college aim to relocate it to a new further and higher education campus, complete with new sports hall, sports fields and parking.

Although the design quango congratulated DLA for its hard work in delivering a scheme in such a short space of time it slated the proposals, claiming they needed a 'fundamental re-think'.

CABE's report said: 'This is an exciting opportunity to give Burnley an outstanding development, particularly when the site has a number of distinctive characteristics.

'However, we believe the proposed scheme is ill-conceived and that a fundamental re-think for building a school on this site is required. We regret to say we cannot support this planning application.'

The design watchdog's major gripe with the Burnley College development was the lack of a masterplan or framework to set out a clear strategy to best utilise the site.

CABE said: 'The lack of a strategy gives us no confidence that future growth will happen in anything other than an ill-conceived, piecemeal way.

'We recommend that before any further consideration is given to the scheme, efforts are focused on developing a masterplan.'

CABE's comments follow its new role in the government's flailing Building Schools for the Future programme. The quango received £2 million of government funding to offer expert advice for better-designed schools.

DLA wrote a letter in response to the comments made by CABE, in which it stated that the plans had not been 'rushed or hurried', and there had been 'a series of pre-application meetings' held with Burnley council.

The letter stated: '[The CABE] letter implies that the project had been rushed and hurried. This simply was not the case.

'It is regrettable that [CABE's] comments were made without the full understanding of the background and context of the project, and without sight of either the comprehensive Environmental Statement or the Design & Access Statement, which together provide answers to many of [their] queries and points of concerns.'

by Richard Vaughan

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