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Three of Britain's best gear up for modern day Battle of Hastings

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An impressive three-strong shortlist is fighting it out in a competition for a new civic space on the Hastings waterfront.

Foreign Office Architects, Foster and Partners and Lifschutz Davidson have made it to the final stage of the international Pelham Square design competition, organised by regeneration agency Hastings & Bexhill Renaissance.

The winner will draw up detailed designs for a 'grand civic space' with a mixed-use development on the Sussex town's neglected seafront.

It will sit in front of the Regency Church of St Mary beneath Hastings Castle, aiming to form a new focus for the regeneration of the surrounding area.

Project director John Shaw said the Pelham Square project will help transform Hastings into a 'showcase for the South East of design excellence, innovation and sustainability'.

'The response to the tender was tremendous, with a large number of high-calibre teams and many of the country's top design practices represented, ' he said. 'Shortlisting the six top companies to interview and then choosing these three to develop their concept ideas was very difficult, as all the teams produced excellent submissions.

'However, we are delighted with our selection as we believe we'll be able to offer the public an exceptional choice between three quite different design approaches and styles, ' he added.

The schemes went on display in the Church of St Mary last Saturday when members of the public met the three design teams to discuss their proposals.

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