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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Government Watchdog Slams Destination Kirkby

A recent report, commissioned by Tesco and Everton for Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council from the Government sponsored advisors "Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment" (CABE) has stated the following about Everton’s proposed stadium:

"It is our view that Design and Build contracts can produce successful outcomes only when high quality design is embedded in the process; we do not feel that this has been achieved in this case."

CABE, a Government sponsored think tank which advises the Secretary of State, Hazel Blears, and Andy Burnham's department of Sport, Media and Culture, concludes their report with the following damning statement on the whole Kirkby development:

"Whilst we welcome the development of the proposed uses on this site we feel that this scheme is, at best, a lost opportunity. The scheme proposed will have a detrimental impact on the town and is not of a standard that Kirkby deserves. This scheme does not meet the criteria in terms of design quality set out in PPS1 and we do not think that it should receive planning permission."

This is yet another major blow to the project and brings the probability of enquiry and planning refusal ever closer. The cultural gulf of misunderstanding displayed by Tesco vis-à-vis the future needs of the current residents of Kirkby are apparent in the above statements. Tesco appear to have no concept whatsoever of a community based shopping facility, which the current town centre with its famous market represents, forming the basis of an evolutionary development for the benefit of the town and its residents as a whole. The promotion of organic entrepreneurial businesses within the proposed shopping facility is difficult to see, this is a core principle backed by the Government.

Read the full report here.

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