I was interested to read Gus Alexander's article highlighting the design inadequacies of the Metropolitan Police HQ in Lewisham (7 May, page 39)
His views are in tune with the comments CABE made when we considered the proposals four years ago.

We take no pleasure in finding that the finished building is now said to be flawed. An opportunity for a well-designed building has been missed, and it is the public, the police and the local townscape that will lose out for decades to come. We currently find ourselves having to make similarly negative comments about a number of proposed PFI hospital schemes.

On the flip side, we have seen a number of schemes procured through the PFI or comparable routes that promise a combination of user-friendly design and high-quality civic architecture. We think it is perfectly possible, with a client committed from the start to a high-quality design, for such procurement methods to deliver on these aims. Equally, we hope that the planning system will be as robust in rejecting poor designs for public projects as it is for privately promoted projects.