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CHBC housing scheme 'fails to meet basic requirements'

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CABE's latest design review has condemned a Leicester housing scheme by CHBC Architects. The Design Review Committee said the plan for 475 homes and a 60-bed hotel failed to meet 'a number of the basic requirements of good urban design'.

Problems centre on the presence of electricity pylons and a disused railway, which the committee says ought to be removed to improve access and appeal to potential occupants. 'We think few people would choose to live 15 metres from high tension cables, ' says the report.

CABE also called for a rethink on landscaping:

'There is too much landscaped space which ends up as the responsibility of the management company, and useful to no one, when it could usefully belong to individual homeowners.'

The committee broadly supported a scheme by CMA Marshall Architecture to build a new commercial development in the centre of Reading.

Designed for telecoms company Energis, the architects propose to demolish the firm's existing head office and replace it with three separate buildings of six, eight and 10 storeys.

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