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CABE rejects calls for specialist supermarket review panel

CABE has said it had ‘no intention’ of setting up a review panel specifically to look at superstore design – despite calls from the supermarkets themselves

Earlier this week, departing CABE chair John Sorrell attacked the poor quality of supermarket design in his valedictory speech, targeting both ASDA and Tesco and urging them to come up with ‘alternative development models’ (read his full speech here).

In response, supermarket giant ASDA said it had already suggested the commission set up a similar framework for store design ‘in much the same way as it did for schools’. The design watchdog has a separate review panel for schools – one of only three dedicated review teams.

Tom McGarry, Property Communications Manager at ASDA said: ‘We have put this idea forward to the Department of Communities and Local Government.

‘CABE should take the initiative by appointing a suitable body of appropriately qualified professionals to consider specific design criteria for supermarkets, based both upon best practice and upon applied expertise. That would give supermarket developers and local authorities a solid framework in which to bring forward proposals incorporating good design.’

However a spokesperson for the commission said: ‘We have no intention of setting up a specialist supermarket panel. We have already reviewed lots of supermarket schemes under our national panel, which has members with relevant expertise, and we will continue to do that.’

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