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‘Gloves off’ in rival plans bid

Ash Sakula Architects has drawn up alternative plans for the redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market in Nine Elms, south London

The move is the latest example of architects developing unofficial concept ‘options’ in a bid to influence high-profile developments. Robert Adam of Adam Architecture, who has recently proposed rival plans in both Winchester and Poole, describes the burgeoning tactic as ‘planning terrorism’.

It has emerged that Clerkenwell-based Ash Sakula first teamed up with the Covent Garden Tenants Association last summer to devise a parallel vision for the 23-hectare site.

A £1 billion outline planning application by Foster + Partners and Neil Tomlinson Architects was submitted to local authority Wandsworth Council last week.

CZWG Architects partner Piers Gough said: ‘Architects are the best people to oppose other architects because they know their way around the system. It used to be against our code, but now the gloves are off.’

Meanwhile, last week the AJ reported that Page\Park Architects had been asked by a local campaign group to draw up alternative designs for a Tesco store in Glasgow.

The practice’s head of city and land Andrew Bateman suggested there was a growing market for architects to win work in this way, facilitating designs retailers and the community are happy with.

Last month, after Allies and Morrison’s 43-storey residential scheme in Elephant and Castle was rejected, Allies and Morrison director Graham Morrison slammed an alternative proposal put forward by Marks Barfield Architects.

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