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Eric Parry's rejection in Bath could mean curtains for Holburne Museum

The wheels have come off Eric Parry Architects' controversial plans to extend Bath's Grade I-listed Holburne Museum of Art after the local council's planning committee unexpectedly voted against the scheme.

The fate of the proposed glass and ceramic extension was sealed last night by a surprise seven to three vote in opposition to the designs - a decision which flew in the face of recommendations to approve the project from Bath and North East Somerset Council's planning officers ( Parry's Bath museum extension looks set for approval despite opposition ).

According to local sources, the move could have major ramifications for the museum, which has spent years working on the 800m2 expansion scheme and which was banking on an approval to allow it to showcase more of its collection.

Some fear the decision might even force the museum, which has spent heavily on trying to get Parry's controversial redesigned scheme through planning, to close.

One spectator who has followed the redevelopment plans closely, former architect Stephen Marks, said: '[This] will have serious consequences for the Holburne, but they have dug their own grave by persisting with a scheme which they knew to be highly controversial.

'In fact, I get a feeling that they relished the role of challenger to the 'Bathness' of Bath. The committee weren't having any of it.'

It is unknown whether the museum chiefs will appeal against the decision.

by Richard Waite

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