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Cattle Market Site

Stratford on Avon

Construction of 132 new homes, with commercial, retail, restaurant and café spaces, together with station forecourt improvements. Designed by Kevin R Twigger.

27 May 2010

Planning reference: 10/00599/FUL

Tagged with: Design review | Design review panel | Housing | West Midlands

We regret to say that we are unable to support this planning application for the former Cattle Market site, opposite Stratford-upon-Avon station. This is an important site for Stratford, and will form the first impression for many people arriving in the town. We have significant concerns about the urban design and architecture of the scheme, and think a fundamental rethink will be required to achieve development of a quality worthy of this site.

Considerations of vehicular access seem to dominate the current proposals, with little evidence of thought about pedestrian experience or the quality of life that will be achieved for residents. There is no indication that a high quality public space will be created in front of the station, either in terms of the buildings that surround it, or its landscape design. Pedestrian routes through the site seem convoluted, for example between the hospital and station. A clear street hierarchy is lacking, and the winding road layout seems inappropriately suburban in character. The sweeping curve of the main vehicular access from Alcester Road creates left over space, with no clear purpose to the south of the site. Overall, we are concerned that Redrow Homes and their design team lack the skills to resolve transport arrangements around Stratford-upon-Avon station. In our view different design skills are needed to achieve a significant new public space outside the station, as part of the development of this site.

The reproduction historic architecture proposed for this scheme, which attempts to emulate the incremental growth of Stratford’s historic centre, would be difficult and expensive to implement convincingly. We are not convinced by the way that the scheme takes historic building typologies, and inflates them to accommodate four storey apartments. There is insufficient evidence in the draft design and access statement that rigorous analysis of the site’s historic context has informed the design. There is also little information on the quality of materials or construction detailing proposed. Overall, there is nothing to convince us that the historic style of architecture proposed would be delivered with sufficient integrity and design quality to be worthy of this important site.