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Country house builders are least favoured group

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In her article arguing against PPG 7 (AJ 5.6.03), Margaret Mackinder has totally missed the point.

Architects and builders of country houses are the least favoured group, not most favoured, even with PPG 7. In the past 50 years, we have built 10 million new town houses, village houses and executive homes, but virtually no new country houses (the very few country houses that have been built are almost all replacement houses or agricultural tie houses). I sympathise with Mackinder's difficulties in obtaining planning permissions for 'modest dwellings', but her job has been infinitely easier than trying to obtain planning permission for a country house, even with PPG 7 in place.

It may come as a surprise to Mackinder, but the 'injustice' is towards the all-but-outlawed country house and not to her clients, who have enjoyed a relatively huge bonanza in house building for the past 50 years. It is time to redress the balance by making country houses more achievable and less of a planning lottery, with the odds heavily stacked against.

David Cardale, Shipton Moyne, Gloucestershire

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