CABE's Design Review Committee has savaged Norwich-based LSI Architects' designs for a town centre mixed-use scheme in Dereham in Norfolk.
The committee attacked the project for creating a series of 'difficulties and missed opportunities' that left it forced to recommend 'a fundamental rethink'. The retail-led scheme, the design review said, lacked a coherent plan, a 'clear strategy for the fronts and backs of the development' and a clearly defined public space.
The review also said there were problems with the small housing provision which, it said, needed a better setting and required 'a new urban form and different style of architecture'.
'There is enough variety in the site and in the brief to generate genuine, rather than artificial, variety, ' the review says. 'The architecture does not come to terms with this fact, and ends up both over-scaled and arbitrary as a consequence.'
However, LSI Architects' associate member Trevor Price said the scheme had won the support of the public. 'The response from our consultation with locals has been very positive, ' he said. 'But we have now had feedback from both CABE and the local authority and we are taking both very seriously, ' Price added.