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CABE slams Oxford residential scheme

Architecture watchdog CABE has slammed a residential project in Oxfordshire, forcing its designers back to the drawing board

It panned the design for the Jericho Canalside scheme, accusing PRP Architects of showing a 'lack of thought'.

The move is the latest blow to the apartment block project earmarked for the Oxford suburb of Jericho which, if approved, will see 54 flats and a public square built on a narrow strip of canal land adjacent a Grade II-listed church.

Although CABE’s design panel has welcomed the height of the project and plans to open up views of St Barnabas Church from the canal, it fears the current designs will produce ‘awkward’ architecture.

In a statement the panel said: ‘We have concerns regarding the apparent lack of thought given to the design of the public space and its relationship with the surrounding buildings.

‘The manner in which this concept has been realised has led to an awkward geometry of the corners of both buildings and leaves an odd-shaped public space.

‘A square of this size would benefit from more activity and a mix of uses. We are not convinced that single use is the right approach for this site and have reservations about the lack of animation of the central space,’ the statement continued.