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Chipperfield's Turner Contemporary turns the planners on

David Chipperfield has won the green light for his Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, Kent – a decision which marks the end of the beginning for the troubled project.

Not that the go-ahead from the planning committee guarantees anything in the seven-year long saga surrounding the proposed seafront gallery scheme.

Snøhetta and Spence Associates had been given the thumbs up from Thanet District Council (in February 2003) before being eventually ditched when the budget for their pebble-like scheme in the English Channel ballooned from £7 million to almost £50 million.

Chipperfield was brought in to take over from the doomed design team back in 2006 (AJ online 27.07.06) after winning an international competition for a new gallery on a more sensible plot, away from the sea wall.

The £17.4 million two-storey replacement will be divide into six interconnecting spaces and clad in white opaque glass and was allegedly ‘influenced by the unique site and quality of light that inspired artist JMW Turner’.

Kent County Council will now look to appoint a contractor capable of bringing the scheme in on budget and work is expected to start on site in autumn this year. The gallery is scheduled to open in 2010 – at least four years late.

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