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CABE is wrong about Bradford-uponAvon

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We find CABE's blessing for the Kingston Mills scheme (above) indicative of a narrow approach to architecture and urban design in historic settings. Bradfordupon-Avon is a highly sensitive, unspoilt historic town, with a strong character - something recognised by Sir Alec Clifton Taylor when he rated it among England's best towns. Even Pevsner's pulse quickens.

The present plans are opposed by SAVE Britain's Heritage, The Georgian Group, a number of amenity societies in Bradford, and a great many of Bradford's individual residents.

Broadway Malyan's scheme is appropriate to London's Docklands, but not to the centre of this historic town - it makes little attempt to respond to local architectural precedent in terms of its form, massing and materials.

The benefits of the scheme, as cited by CABE - a second bridge and consistency of architectural language - could easily be wrought from another, more appropriate scheme; one that actually pays attention to the clear and concise supplementary planning guidance produced for the site by West Wiltshire District Council, which requires the retention of a higher number of buildings on the site.

This is a classic case of a developer imposing itself on a small town, much to the detriment of the town, and of a respected national body's complicity in that. As if to twist the knife a little, the developer is allowing the Grade II-listed Kingston House to rot. To borrow the name of one of the local amenity societies, Bradford Deserves Better.

Given the increasing backing given to CABE by the government, it is essential that it broadens the outlook of the design review panel to include more than just members and close associates of the architectural profession.

Adam Wilkinson, secretary, Save Britain's Heritage

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