Sheppard Robson scheme offers 'poor quality living environment', says design watchdog

Sheppard Robson’s Tesco superstore development at Woolwich, East London, has received a panning from CABE’s design review panel.

The scheme, entitled Love Lane, was criticised by the review panel for being “overdeveloped” and “aggressive”. It concludes: “Woolwich town centre deserves a better attempt.”

Love Lane is a mixed-use scheme being developed by Tesco and its property arm, St James Investments. It involves the building of residential units above a Tesco supermarket, which the panel called “a complex and demanding brief.”

In its comments, the panel said: “We recognise the difficulty of building a new residential community above a retail superstore. However, the scheme, by nature of its architecture and distribution of massing appears overdeveloped, will provide a poor quality living environment for many of its residents, and will fail to create a sufficiently permeable or animated public realm along its edges.”

Sheppard Robson made alterations to the scheme after CABE’s review, but before it went in for planning. CABE design reviews are only made public after the scheme under review has gone to the planners.