I like Armandii but I heard that it needs a south or west facing aspect. Is there an alternative? Needs to be evergreen since it will be used for screening an ugly view and ideally fast growing. Is there such a plant widely available? I am in the north west of england too.
I have rampant Armandii on two walls that do face West and South as you say but I didn't realise this was important. The only thing I would say it is a total nightmare because it grows uncontrollably, the underneath layers die off leaving fresh tangled growth over apparently dead growth underneath but you can't prune it easily because some bits that look dead feed healthy bits etc. It really is an unwieldy mess now and neighbours sometimes hack at it cutting crucial feeder stems unwittingly, causing sections to die.
The problem with east-facing is that it faces the rising sun, which is an issue in the winter when there may be frost overnight. The frost crystals focus the sunlight on the leaf/flower surfaces, causing scorching damage. It's a real pain with plants which flower early in the year, like Camellias and armandii. Still, it is mostly cosmetic rather than life threatening to the plant.