Architect criticises 'illiterate' plan

The plan for an overhaul of a memorial garden has been slammed by an architect.

An architect has labelled a £2m council design for an overhaul of memorial gardens as “illiterate”. Architect Michael Innes has come up with an alternative concept for the gardens in Norwich, which he will circulate in the hope of gaining support for a rethink. Innes is the architect of the city’s Castle Mall shopping centre, which involved a variety of landscape aspects. He criticised the design for the Memorial Gardens outside City Hall when he first saw it. Despite being a member of the stakeholders’ forum, Innes said he could not understand why Norwich City Council’s executive committee approved the final design. He added: “The idea was a place of tranquillity but they have taken all sense of seclusion from the garden and it makes no sense. “It’s a rather illiterate design. There’s no unifying image and it’s fragmented. I’m anxious that they see an alternative design.” The council wants the scheme to breathe new life into the gardens and hopes to receive Heritage Lottery Fund money. It would move the memorial closer to City Hall, but Innes said this would leave no space for events. A council representative said: “We have consulted with local stakeholders throughout the development of the proposal and design stages. Michael Innes has been a valued member of the stakeholder consultation group.” It said it has received letters of support from the Norwich Society, the Royal British Legion and the Norwich Access Group.

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