An eye on designs

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Fenland District Council has launched an exciting new design competition aimed at creating an “iconic” new development on a prime site in Wisbech.

The council is seeking entries from teams of imaginative architects and developers keen to build an eye-catching, high-quality development on Coalwharf Road. It is intended to provide a quality benchmark for future development across Fenland.

Entrants need to act fast to give themselves a chance of winning this prestigious prize. Full details of the competition were published this week. The timetable is tight, with August 30 named as the deadline for registration and initial expressions of interest. But entrants will have until October 11 to submit more detailed designs and they have been given plenty of scope: entries could be for a residential, commercial or mixed-use development.

The competition is the brainchild of FDC leader Alan Melton, who is keen to attract interest from across the country but in particular the East of England, as well as from enterprising local firms.

He said: “We now have a golden opportunity to dictate what is built on one of the main gateways into Wisbech. We can make a bold and iconic statement - something that will provide a benchmark for future development in the whole of Fenland and set the sort of high standards of design that we want everywhere.

“This is a chance to create a new landmark and demonstrate something that every one of us can be proud of. To me it’s a legacy issue. We want people to come up with a design that will be not only a local prizewinner but a national prizewinner.”

The competition forms part of Fenland Council’s wider regeneration programme. It is seen as an important element in the Wisbech 2020 Vision.

All the entries will be judged according to their flair, aesthetics and deliverability in terms of both value and financial viability.

The timetable gives entrants until August 30 to register their interest and submit any questions. They will then have a further six weeks to submit their initial design concepts, with a deadline of October 11.

Those short listed to go forward will be informed by October 25 and asked to prepare presentations to put to the judging panel on November 25.

The winner is due to be announced at the council’s annual Building Design Awards event on December 9.

• For full details about the competition, visit or call Fenland District Council on 01354-622472.