PROLIFIC architect Allan Murray has hit back at claims he puts "mediocrity before imagination or beauty" to win favour with Edinburgh planners.
Former Scottish Arts Council chairman and columnist Magnus Linklater accused Mr Murray, the mastermind behind projects such as Caltongate, Edinburgh Park and the St James Quarter, of producing "bland and undistinguished" architecture which is out of step with the "elegance of older-style Edinburgh".
Mr Murray denied his designs were mediocre, saying they are subjected to "intense scrutiny by the prospective clients, judging panels or our peers".
He added: "These same projects are also closely scrutinised by the City of Edinburgh planning officials and councillors, Historic Scotland and the Scottish Government's design advisor group Architecture & Design Scotland and in many cases through detailed public consultation.
"A number of our high-profile projects also have the benefit of being collaborative efforts."