The panel felt the project was not 'of sufficient quality to match the high regeneration aspirations for the town' - a town which has been earmarked as a Growth Area within the Government's Sustainable Community Plan.
According to the CABE report, panel members were worried about both the urban design and the architectural quality of the proposals: 'We have serious concerns relating to the approach to the edges of the site.
'The focus of the 'public face' towards the roundabout, the main point of entry by car to the town centre, does not strike us as an acceptable way forward, leaving a mostly dead facade.'
The report added: 'There is no clear idea of how the streets and space will work and what they will be like or how the edges of the site will be dealt with.
'We were concerned at the lack of a comprehensive landscape strategy for the site as a whole.'
Among the other criticisms levelled at the scheme included doubts about the 'unconvincing' pattern of routes and a 'lost opportunity' in dealing with level change across the site.
The report concluded: 'CABE hopes to be able to work with the design team to develop a scheme that is worthy of the admirable regeneration aims of the town.'