Essentially a London-centric group
Questions have been raised about the composition of the newly-established ‘independent panel‘ advising HS2 Ltd on the design of its high speed line.
[Not enough regional experts on HS2 design panel, say critics, Richard Waite, Architects Journal, 10 November, 2015 | paywall]
Chaired by dRMM director Sadie Morgan, the [45-strong] panel features architects, landscape designers, sustainability specialists, business figures, academics, brand consultants, infrastructure experts and community engagement professionals.
[…] Julie Laming of Bristol-based consultancy Planning Ventures said: ‘[The panel] is essentially a London-centric group. This makes very little sense. Surely with a government promoting the localism agenda and the Northern Powerhouse, this panel should incorporate the talent of […] those with local knowledge and an understanding of the rural and urban areas that the route will pass through.’
[…] Rab Bennetts of Bennetts Associates, who has worked on a number of Crossrail stations, questioned how much power the panel would have.
‘Will the panel, which clearly has good intentions, have any teeth when it comes to design quality both within the HS2 camp and with the planning authorities who will have the final say?’ he asked.
He added: ‘It is also interesting to note how many prominent architects are not on the list.’
To what extent is good design compatible with HS2 Ltd’s budget, and its construction timescale? Wasn’t chairman David Higgins supposed to be interested in standardised ‘cookie-cutter’ designs, to reduce cost pressures?