Proposed building is “Overbearing and vastly out of scale” says Arts Taunton

Arts Taunton has been following the consultation process for the possible demolition and replacement of Debenham’s. The final designs have now been made public.

In Arts Taunton’s judgement, the designs are overbearing, vastly out of scale and fail to recognise or respond to the historic townscape around it. Arts Taunton is calling on Somerset West and Taunton Council to throw out this scheme should it come to planning.

Arts Taunton does not consider any design on this scale to be appropriate for the site. It dominates all surrounding streets and buildings while containing nothing that feels distinctly ‘Taunton’. The views from the river and bridge are particularly cumbersome and oppressive.

Debenhams proposed replacement

Arts Taunton Trustee, Donald Rice commented:

“The landlord’s project manager, architect and design team approached Arts Taunton as part of the consultation process, for which we are grateful. We found them professional and courteous but the design was already far down the line and there has been no input from local people. Corner sites like this are crucial benchmarks in townscapes and we risk losing a good building in favour of something obtrusive and characterless.”

Kit Chapman, Arts Taunton’s Founding Director added:

“These designs make a complete mockery of the principles of ‘Taunton Garden Town. The proposed building is an ugly monolith disfiguring the face of Somerset’s County Town. It should be rethought.”