Architect Sarah Wigglesworth has criticised the TV producers making a series about the £4m Castleford regeneration project for underestimating the complexities of the scheme
Channel 4 and Talkback Productions are making the five-part documentary on Castleford in Yorkshire, which is billed as the first reality regeneration TV show.

Project insiders fear that Channel 4's schedules are not compatible with the timetable of a regeneration project.

In an interview with Building, Sarah Wigglesworth, one of the scheme's design team that also includes McDowell + Benedetti, Allen Tod, Parklife, DSDHA and Hudson Architects, said her firm was in the dark over the project's status.

She said: "I'm not sure [Channel 4 and Talkback Productions] have much conception of how long it takes and how complex it is to build a building, let alone do a town regeneration project."

The programme was originally scheduled to be shown this autumn but architects working on the scheme are still to have their contracts finalised. Wigglesworth said: "It seems to have stalled at the moment over the scope of the work and the fees.

At the moment I can't see them getting anything together by September, but I may be wrong."

One project insider described the presence of the cameras as a "double-edged sword", and claimed that client Wakefield council had also been confronted with more bureaucracy over funding than expected.

The source said: "The timetable dictated by media forces a pace not concomitant with a regeneration project. There's a hiatus and the impetus could be lost."

However, McDowell + Benedetti partner Jonathan McDowell said the practice was still happy with the project. He said: "Obviously TV people have their own agendas but they have really focused attention on the regeneration of Castleford."

David Barrie, project director for Talkback, denied the TV coverage was affecting the scheme. He said: "It's a nonsense to say the project is late: the timetable is dictated by local people, there's no clock ticking." Barrie added that the series was set to air at the end of the year or the beginning of next.