Most of CABE’s comments are in the detail of the design – they criticised the access to the residential accomodation, and some of the bridge links between the high-rise blocks. These should be easliy enough dealt with by the design team.
Of more concern will be the comment: "Whilst we see the potential for a mixed residential and retail development on this site, we feel that this scheme constitutes significant over-development of the site". Over-development could only be countered by reducing the height of the residential blocks, and thus the overall economic viability of the scheme.
CABE’s opinions are required to be taken into account by the Council’s planning comittee when it meets in the Autumn. Earlier criticism of the Arcadia ‘Leaf’ scheme from Glenkerrin, also in Ealing, helped the developer decide to significantly scale down the designs – cutting the main tower’s height by half.
While CABE’s comments on this scheme are less damning, John Thompson and Partners, the architect for Dickens Yard, may well be working to incorporate them as far as possible before the planning deadline.