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The AJ replies

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We reject the suggestion that we have not been even-handed. We spoke to representatives of all the parties before publishing our story and would like to reiterate and clarify various points. In particular:

The article made it clear that Richard Rogers Partnership's submission was a 'sketch plan'.

We know that it is normal for a largescale project to go through the EU tender process. We merely quoted RRP spokesperson Robert Torday's comment that Newcastle City Council's decision to 'widen the net' was 'somewhat odd'.

The assertion that members of the local community had found RRP to be dictatorial was based on the council's summary of the public consultation of the Going for Growth masterplans, which states that local people viewed them as 'top-down'.

We accept that Terry Farrell's views about architects' lack of masterplanning expertise are general, and not specifically targeted at RRP, and we do feel that he raises serious concerns which we share. We are tackling some of these issues in a feature on masterplanning and cities which will appear in the issue of 11 January.

A final point: our news reports are about what has happened, not what we would like to have happened - Ed.

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