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The country’s leading authority on urban redevelopment has applauded the team responsible for preparing the Masterplan for the regeneration of Hereford.

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) in its review of the Masterplan, says: "We congratulate the client and design team for the development of the masterplan. We applaud the strategic thinking displayed in the masterplan and feel it creates a framework with the potential for a successful urban environment."

In its report, the commission says the breakdown of the masterplan into manageable precincts is a positive move in terms of urban design, as well as making commercial sense. It welcomed the re-introduction of the canal basin and also considered the new east-west road through the development zone to be a positive driver for the types and density of housing proposed.

The report, welcomed by ESG Chief Executive, Jonathan Bretherton, as ‘helpful and positive,’ does, however, have a reservation about the proposed new pedestrian route linking the railway station to the city centre, which it says, ‘does not sit comfortably with the proposed or existing urban structure.’ It believes the walkway is too direct and needs to be re-assessed, a point accepted by Mr Bretherton.

The report concludes: "This masterplan has many positive interventions and attributes. However, by showing greater reverence to the historic street patterns it will have greater flexibility to adapt to the future changes of Hereford."

Said Jonathan Bretherton: "This is a positive and constructive analysis of the plans for the long term renewal of Hereford, confirming the general direction we are taking is right."