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Calls for more architectural ambition in the South West

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The South West lacks architectural ambition and needs to increase its commitment to design quality, according to the South West Design Review Panel (SWDRP).

In the Better Design, Better Places report, SWDRP manager Timothy Cantell said that the majority of the 70 projects reviewed took the ‘soft and easier option’.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios' Peter Clegg, who also sits on the SWDRP, said: ‘Too many schemes are tamely doing what was done before, what is easy or what seems to be a safe bet.’

The document, the first publication released by the SWDRP, also includes a 10-point checklist to act as a guide and, according to the panel, ‘hopefully an inspiration to all involved with development in the South West’.

These findings come on the back of the news in December that the plan for a 10,000-seat arena in Bristol, designed by HOK Sport, has been scrapped because one of its financial backers, the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWERDA), did not consider it to be good value.

The arena, which was expected to cost approximately £86 million, was intended to be part of a bigger mixed-use development on the site, but SWERDA director Ian Knight said: 'The latest figures show it would not be a good use of public money.'

A mixed housing and commercial development is still planned to take place as part of the wider £750 million Temple Quarter development.

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