Frankham Consultancy Group

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File:Graduate housing from Walton Well Road Bridge, Oxford.JPG
Castle Mill graduate housing designed by Frankham Consultancy Group Limited, under construction in January 2013, from the Walton Well Road railway bridge to the north.
File:Castle Mill from Castle Mill Stream, Port Meadow, Oxford.JPG
View from the Castle Mill Stream at the southern end of Port Meadow, across the Cripley Meadow Allotments.

Frankham Consultancy Group Limited is a British company based at Sidcup in southeast Greater London, England, that provides design, engineering, and consultancy services for the built environment. The company also has regional offices on the Wootton Business Park at Wootton near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Haywards Heath in West Sussex, and central London.<ref name="contact">Template:Cite web</ref>

The company was incorporated in 2002 and the company's Chairman is Steve Frankham. The company's website claims that "The company exists to improve the surroundings in which we all live and work." and continues to say "our projects have one thing in common……they improve peoples’ lives".<ref name="about">Template:Cite web</ref>

Controversy

File:Obscured view of St Barnabas campanile from Port Meadow, Oxford.JPG
St Barnabas Church campanile obscured by new Castle Mill graduate accommodation buildings, at the southern end of Port Meadow.<ref name="little-14mar-13">Template:Cite news</ref><ref name="little-21mar-13" />

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On 7 November 2011, the company issued a design document to Oxford University for a new student accommodation development at Castle Mill in Oxford, a one-hectare site (400m × 25m), north of the existing accommodation, between the Cripley Meadow Allotments and the railway tracks, close to the southern end of Port Meadow, with a contract value of £21.5 million, being built by Longcross. The development has proved controversial due to the lack of public consultation, since the four to five storey blocks overlook Port Meadow, a historic open area to the north with views of Oxford's skyline. Campaigners have warned of damage to views of Oxford. The development has been likened to building a "skyscraper beside Stonehenge".

In March 2013, it was revealed the Oxford City Council was warned about the threat to the views from Port Meadow.<ref name="little-21mar-13">Template:Cite news</ref> The Head of Heritage at the Council reported on "the harmful impact" with a conclusion that "There is no justification for this harm".<ref name="internal-report">Template:Cite web</ref> It was reported that revised plans were submitted, reducing the height of the blocks by 1.2m on 9 February 2012, yet the planning officer's report recommending approval of the revised scheme was dated 3 February 2012.<ref name="little-21mar-13" /> The height change has a negligible effect in practice.<ref name="fantato-25mar-13">Template:Cite news</ref>

In June 2013, Castle Mill was nominated for the 2013 Carbuncle Cup, an annual award by Building Design for "the ugliest building in the United Kingdom completed in the last 12 months." It is described as "A deeply unimaginative and impoverished design which would lower the spirits whatever its setting, but on the edge of one of central England’s most important and ancient landscapes, it is an outrage."

References

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External links

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