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Falkirk plans get severe A&DS treatment

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Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) has hit out at a scheme by Fouin and Bell Architects to redevelop Stenhousemuir's town centre in Falkirk, Scotland.

In a damning review, the A&DS stated that instead of creating a 'recognisable, cohesive and distinctive town centre', Fouin and Bell proposed an 'out-of town retail facility' whose central focus was 'a car park, which is neither attractive nor pleasant'.

The planning application, which aims to transform the town centre, also fell down badly on a number of further issues.

The brief stated a need for the design to eliminate the potential for anti-social behaviour, but instead it 'creates blind corners and a number of blank facades, which offer no passive surveillance'.

The A&DS also argued that the proposals failed to offer a long-term cohesive town centre, and were driven by 'infrastructure and servicing provision'.

'Ambition has been limited to the provision of a supermarket/retail-park with associated car parking that turns its back on the public park'.

In response, client MacDonald Estates' development manager Niall McLean said: 'The A&DS are looking at the proposal purely from a design point of view. For us to achieve the council's aims we have to look at it from many different angles.

'If we had a blank canvas, we would love to be more design-led, but working within an existing town centre, we have our constraints.'

The scheme will go in front of planning committee in 26 July.

by Richard Vaughan

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