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Great houses belong to a shameful past


I am shocked and staggered by the naked elitism of your PPG 7 campaign to 'save the clause'.

Are there not many more issues worthy of your energies than to protect the privileges of the super-rich and their superstar architects to build 'great country houses' in the middle of the countryside?

Where is the AJ campaign on homelessness? In a world where many people are denied adequate shelter and sanitation, how can you campaign for the privileges of the few just because it promotes 'quality of design'?

The great houses of Britain are treasures of the past but the world which created them is gone. They reflected a power structure in the society of the time which has been dismantled by the reforms of the past hundred years.

True many of the great buildings of yesterday were commissioned in this way.

But these buildings were also contemporaneous with child labour, slavery, restrictedfranchise elections, pocket boroughs and many other abuses intolerable to today's society.

These things have been consigned to the dustbin of history, shouldn't so-called great houses also be?

The AJ has a history of being concerned with environmental issues this now looks like mere lip service as you argue to exempt a privileged section of the population from a measure designed to protect our natural landscape.

What's next, the AJ campaign for a congestion-tax exemption for Rolls-Royce drivers? I am totally bewildered by your stance.

Kevin Holmes, Limerick

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