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In the news article 'Artistic Licence at the AF', featured in AJ 15.02.07, Brian Clarke makes the following comment about new building projects: 'At the moment we have a very thin layer of excellence at the top. Then there is a small sub-strata of worthiness, but then there is a bottomless pit of nothingness, of dross'.

Unfortunately, the fact is that in this country the vast majority of planning applications are submitted by non-architects - for example, architectural 'designers', architectural practices containing no actual architects, and architectural 'consultants' etc.

The low standard of design in the built environment is also not helped by local authorities issuing their own 'design guides', nor by many of their planning officers dictating on every level of aesthetics yet having, it appears, no design training (or ability) whatsoever.

Rory James Wilson, LCRW Architects, Aberystwyth

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