Design quango Cabe is in talks over setting up a dedicated review panel for supermarkets, it emerged in the wake of outgoing chair Sir John Sorrell’s savaging of the retail giants on Monday
A spokesperson for Asda said the supermarket has had meetings with Cabe in which a framework for supermarket design was suggested.
Details are still being discussed but the panel could work in a similar way to the schools design panel. This provides independent advice on proposals for secondary schools as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme.
The Asda spokesperson said: “Cabe should take the initiative by appointing a suitable body of appropriately qualified professionals to consider specific design criteria for supermarkets, based both upon best practice and applied expertise. This advice would give developers of large retail as well as local authorities a framework in which to create well-designed supermarkets.”
Diane Haigh, director of architecture and design review at Cabe confirmed that talks were taking place with supermarkets but said it was not yet certain a dedicated body was required.
They must be challenged to try new things and stop building standard stores
Sir John Sorrell, Cabe
Earlier in the week, Sorrell had attacked supermarkets for the quality of their design.
“They must be challenged to try new things, stop building standard stores, and respond to local context without reverting to a wind turbine, pastiche design or a few shelves set aside for local produce,” he said.
Sorrell mentioned planning proposals by both Asda and Tesco in Barnet. “The Asda scheme fails on every level,” he told an audience at Tate Modern.
The Building Supermarkets Conference takes place on 23 November in London. More details at www.building.co.uk/supermarkets