The responses to Neptune/Malyan’s proposed Lime Street Gateway scheme are still coming in. And, perhaps surprisingly, an independent design review panel has supported the scheme.

When big-ticket projects like this are put before the public, it’s often a way for the planners to submit the masterplans to an independent body, to appraise the scheme.

In the architects’ magazine, BD Online, it’s been reported that design review panel, Places Matter has supported the scheme.

And who is Chair at Places Matter? None other than Matt Brook. And who’s Matt Brook? Why, he’s the architect at Broadway Malyan, the practice that designed the Lime Street scheme.

This is not the first time Neptune/Malyan have used this tactic. Only a few years ago for a the Shot Tower scheme in Chester which was followed by the TV series The Planners, after withdrawing the application at committee, they returned with a glowing report from Places Matter, with Matt and the panel’s independence being questioned during the meeting.

privateeyeSo what about another independent view (apart from our own)? Well, you could look to Private Eye’s Nooks and Corners architecture and planning column. “A couple of years ago, Joe Anderson announced ‘Lime Street is an area that’s been forgotten for too long, I’m committed to transforming this into a gateway our world class city deserves'” the column says, before concluding that the new ‘world class’ Lime Street is to be ‘repetitive facades of brick…a vision of quite remarkable banality.”

The scheme, it says, shouldn’t be reviewed, but, as We Make Places and ourselves suggested, should be completely abandoned.

Watch that space.

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