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Design not for the broads

PUBLISHED: 12:06 12 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:22 05 July 2010

I AM writing in response to the picture The Journal (April 18) of the proposed development to be sited adjacent to the railway swing bridge in the centre of Oulton Broad on the site of the former Oswald's boatyard.

I AM writing in response to the picture The Journal (April 18) of the proposed development to be sited adjacent to the railway swing bridge in the centre of Oulton Broad on the site of the former Oswald's boatyard.

I can only say that the size, scale and design of this proposal seem ridiculous in this setting.

The building that is in effect a nine-storey structure will tower at least seven storeys high above the road level at the roundabout. This would dwarf and dominate all other buildings in the area and is not in keeping with the character and nature of Oulton Broad.

I would be interested to know if 1st East or the council have taken note of a recent design review of this proposal by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, which is the government's advisor on architecture, urban design and public space.

This review includes the following comments: “The development of this site has the potential to stimulate further regeneration and set a benchmark for the standard of future development in 1st East's area. We fully support regeneration around Lake Lothing and think that a new, improved library and housing for people with different financial means are appropriate here. However, we have significant concerns regarding the design of the buildings and external spaces in this scheme. Overall, we see no evidence of the high quality design thinking that is necessary to develop this complex and challenging site and do not support this scheme.

“The positive physical assets of the area should be cultivated to a greater extent than has been done in this proposal. The intensity of constraints on such a small site necessitates an extremely careful and inventive design solution. Unfortunately, the architectural quality of the proposed buildings is poor. The scale and height of the buildings and the stepped massing are not appropriate in this location. The fundamental configuration of built form and external uses is producing a very poor place. We therefore cannot support this planning application.”

The whole of this review can be found at the commission's website www.cabe.org.uk

Obviously the regeneration and development of parts of Lowestoft are necessary and commendable but surely this should not be to the detriment of the character or quality of local areas as a whole.

P DAVIS

Bridge Road

Oulton Broad

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