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 Chapel Wharf Dissolves Into Acrimony

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LeeRain
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Join date : 2010-09-14

PostSubject: Chapel Wharf Dissolves Into Acrimony   Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:04 am

Chapel Wharf Dissolves Into Acrimony

Busy Manchester developer Dandara, have seen their Chapel Wharf plans turn into disarray as the original project architects have pulled out.

At the heart of the troubles are the disagreement between the architect and developer over the design quality of the building and the budget that can be used to deliver this. Adding fuel to the fire have been the very public attacks by both the developer and architect on each other over who is to blame.

Dandara attacked the architects, Shepherd Robson, for what they believed was an inability of the practise to fulfil such a project, however a quick look through their portfolio shows the architect was more than capable of doing just this.

Shepherd Robson have in turn attacked the developer for the inability to deliver a scheme of acceptable quality with the budge that they had available. With this and the developer's refusal to put more money up for the scheme, Shepherd Robson say they walked away.

Backing this view up to some extent is the Commission For Architecture and Built Environment, the government quango charged with making sure that decent quality proposals are built and the bar for acceptable design is raised.

CABE have no statutory powers in the planning system to stop a development they don't like, and are supposed to work as an advisory, a process that normally works as few companies really want to be on the end of sustained criticism and most planners tend to listen to CABE meaning they will reject developments where there are major design concerns.

The weakness to this system has been exposed with Chapel Wharf as Dandara have seen that the original criticised design was only tinkered with around the edges whilst avoiding a thorough redesign that would have dealt with the perceived problems.

CABE have slated Chapel Wharf no less than three times but despite their concerns about the over-development of the site, the planning and massing of the blocks, wind turbulence, a lack of privacy and sunlight for future residents, and the failure to address their past concerns, the planning bods at Salford City Council have approved the project anyway.

All of this doesn't mean that the project has been junked, infact far from it. Dandara have now brought in local practise Hodder to finish Shepherd Robson's previous work and get the development off the ground.

With CABE still slating the proposal and little future change looking likely, the question is, can Hodder polish what the government's architectural experts think is turd?

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