The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment’s design review panel has given the thumbs down to the first phase of the 5,000-home Bicester eco-town project near Cherwell in Oxfordshire designed by Farrell’s.
CABE said: “it is crucial that the first phase sets high standards for the future. It is disappointing, therefore, that the eco-credentials of the scheme are limited and that there is little deviation from the standard suburban housing model. We would expect to see a proposal that captures the essential aspirations of an eco-town: the current proposals fall short of that mark.”
In a separate but related development it has also criticised proposals for the redevelopment of Twickenham railway station in south west London for residential, retail and leisure uses in three buildings of up to eight storeys, together with a new station concourse and public spaces.
CABE said it supported the principle of the scheme, designed by Rolfe Judd, which included the construction of a structural raft over the railway tracks to create a significantly larger site.
“We generally support the scale and massing of the development, however, we have concerns relating to aspects of the quality of architecture and public spaces and the standard of residential accommodation to be provided. Further work is required to achieve a scheme of sufficient design quality appropriate to this prominent location in Twickenham.”
17 March 2012