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Foster under pressure over Edinburgh ForthQuarter masterplan

Foster & Partners has been forced to reassess its masterplan for ForthQuarter in Edinburgh because it 'lacks vision', according to Scotland's design watchdog.

Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) stated at a recent design review meeting that Foster & Partners' current approach to the project is 'too flexible, and lacks vision'.

The comments respond to an outline planning application submitted by the London-based practice for a vast redevelopment of the Edinburgh site.

A major concern for the review committee is the planned massing in the area, although the committee claimed it is has 'no objection' to higher densities - it stated that the planned increase was 'considerable'.

The masterplan proposes an additional 1,500 dwellings above the 2,000 already consented, which the committee said would place too much pressure on the existing infrastructure.

The A&DS review board said: 'A number of options for massing and building heights have been investigated, but we do not feel their impact on the public realm and streetscape design has been sufficiently demonstrated.

'Although we could support the introduction of tall buildings in principle, we would suggest other ways of increasing density - We feel that there is, at present, a lack of understanding of the qualities of the places being proposed,' the board added.

Instead, the review board called for an 'inspirational masterplan' with 'clearer guidelines' to establish a 'sustainable community, with high quality buildings, streets and spaces'.

by Richard Vaughan

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