Bedford Borough Council's (BBC's) planning committee is set to consider ABA's plans - a joint venture between the council and developer Midland City and Developments - and the omens look good.
CABE panned the proposed architecture, claiming it had 'not responded to, or reinforced, the character of Bedford', adding that both the 'form and scale were inappropriate' to the surroundings.
The report said: 'We are seriously concerned about the development proposed, which we think fails in many areas -The U-shaped layout of the building has a poor relationship with the river; not least because the building will have a poor street frontage.'
However, in a report the council dismissed CABE's criticisms and wrote: 'The proposed development has successfully managed to achieve the very difficult task of creating active and inviting frontages to both the north and south elevations.
'CABE was invited to clarify and expand upon its initial response, but has not (done so).'
No one from Armstrong Burton Architects or CABE was available for comment.