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Birmingham Pathfinder scheme slammed for the second time by CABE

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A Pathfinder scheme in Birmingham has been slated for the second time by CABE - more than two years after the design watchdog first raised concerns about the project.

RPS Design's residential-led plans for the Cape Hill Brewery site in the Birmingham-Sandwell Housing Market Renewal Area have been branded 'disappointing' and lacking in clarity.

The comments echo those made by CABE back in July 2005, which claimed the project failed 'both as urban design and architecture' ( CABE design review pans first Pathfinder ), and raises further questions about the quality of some of the government's Pathfinder schemes.

The latest report criticises RPS Design's proposals for 'not taking full advantage of the assets of the site,' and says that 'further work is required to ensure it will deliver housing market renewal and broader policy objectives.'

The report adds: 'Overall, the street pattern lacks hierarchy and clarity of purpose - the role of this street and a few others does not appear to have been considered or fully understood, and as a result they lack legibility.'

by Richard Waite

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