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Row over Feilden Clegg Bradley housing scheme for Bath

Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects is facing serious trouble over its planned residential project in Bath, following a formal complaint lodged by the Bath Preservation Trust (BPT)

An outline planning application has been submitted by Crest Nicholson to build more than 2,000 residential properties, but the design is at the centre of a row between developers and campaigners.

Despite calls for contemporary designs by the Bath and North East Somerset Council, the BPT has claimed the proposals will create an eyesore.

Simon Loaring of the BPT said: 'We understand the need for housing in Bath, but we want to see terraces in the Bath design. This does not mean that they have to be Georgian in appearance but we certainly do not want building blocks from Eastern Europe in the 1970s.

'It is a massive site and it will really dominate Bath. The current proposals will create a serious eyesore, and we will continue to campaign for terrace designs.'

The proposals went in front of CABE's design review and - although they impressed on a general level - the watchdog called for more detailed plans to be submitted.

The review also commented that, 'in the hands of skilled designers, this massing diagram could develop to have grand simplicity; in less skilled hands, it could become a frightening and oppressive place.'

Debbie Alpin, Crest's head of urban renewal said: 'We have taken on board CABE's comments and are aware of the Bath Preservation Trust's concerns. We will be producing a design code.

'Bath is in need of development, and we have hired architects with a fantastic reputation. This project is very close to Feilden Clegg Bradley's Bath offices so it will be very careful as it is in the practice's own backyard.

'We have held two meetings with the Trust and it has raised some valid points, but we know that we cannot please everybody.'

by Richard Vaughan

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