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CABE supports under-fire Sloane Square scheme...

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CABE has thrown its weight behind Stanton Williams Architects' controversial Sloane Square scheme, despite mounting opposition to the plans.

The £5.5 million project, which aims to transform the square creating one-and-a-half times more public space, has won the full support of the design watchdog.

The CABE report states: 'We warmly welcome the principle of this scheme to humanise a valued London square and improve its offer to pedestrians.

'We think it important that projects like this take place [and support] its courageous approach in the current climate of risk averseness.'

The proposal has been met with vociferous opposition from high-profile residents such as Brian Ferry, Lord St John of Fawsley, and the wife of construction magnate Robert McAlpine.

A campaign group has also been set up, called Save Sloane Square, which claims to have more than 4,000 names signed up in opposition to the development.

Despite this, however, CABE has backed the scheme and even praised the proposals to 'humanise the square by shifting the balance between pedestrians and vehicles'.

The review panel said: 'Overall, we congratulate the client and design team on their rigorous and high-quality approach to transforming the square; we are confident that they will be able to carry the standard of design through to implementation and on to maintenance and monitoring.'

by Richard Vaughan

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