Chapman Taylor senior partner Nigel Woolner, architect for the proposed Coppergate II scheme in York, has gone on the defensive in an attempt to save his design for the £60 million scheme currently embroiled in a public inquiry.
And Woolner revealed a previously unseen image of the project (below) to show how the design would fit into the historic fabric of the city.
Coppergate II is opposed by many local groups due to its proximity to a number of key historic sites in York, including the Grade-I listed Clifford Tower.
Woolner told the inquiry that it had been 'a very conscious decision to come forward with a design that provides a calm setting for the listed buildings'.
He added that the practice had taken great care to develop a concept that blended the 'informality of brick and stone and pitched roofs in Castlegate, to the civic scale of the stone courts building and Castle Museum'.
Woolner rubbished claims by opponents that the development will dwarf Clifford's Tower, showing evidence that the building line is 25m from the base of the tower's mound and that the tower will remain the dominant feature on the site.
The inquiry started last week, amid anger that the developer, Land Securities, had already created a fall-back position (AJ 17.1.02). It commissioned Sir Colin Stansfield Smith and John Pardey Architect to work alongside Chapman Taylor to create an alternative vision.
The inquiry will cost the York taxpayer about £110,000. The scheme is supported by English Heritage and York City Council. CABE, the York Civic Trust and other local groups oppose it.