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Third time unlucky for Arca as CABE attacks Salford scheme

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Arca has achieved an unwelcome hat-trick after CABE condemned the practice's high-rise scheme in Salford's Exchange Greengate area for a third time.

The design watchdog's review panel, which has already seen the Canopus Greengate project twice, said it still had 'fundamental concerns' about the mixed-use tower development next to the River Irwell.

The commission said it was still 'not convinced that the site is appropriate for a tall building' despite substantial revisions to the original 60-storey skyscraper proposals, which now include two smaller 31-storey and 46-storey towers (AJ 14.12.06).

As well as questioning the context of the scheme, the design panel also attacked the proposed public realm and concluded it 'could find no logic or justification for the location and scale of the two towers'.

CABE's criticism comes even though the watchdog acknowledged there was an existing planning permission for a 'high quantum of development' on the riverside plot, which lies within Feilden Clegg Bradley's much-lauded Exchange Greengate masterplan.

The comments also seem at odd with the views of the Manchester Society of Architects, which recently named the development as the best 'Large Unbuilt Residential Scheme' in the area.

Arca said it was unable to respond publicly to the CABE comments as the scheme, which is in for outline permission, was at a particularly sensitive and 'tricky' stage.

by Richard Waite

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