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House style

Readers will need little reminding about the government's attitude to that other principled piece of planning guidance introduced by John Gummer in the early 1990s, that is to say the possibility of building a country house (plus landscape design) if the proposal is good enough. The great egalitarian John Prescott, who loves hobnobbing with the Prince of Wales over design codes drawn up for millionaire communities in the US to keep the proles out, is determined that individuals in the UK can buy country houses but can't build them. Will some benighted applicant for a PPG7 exemption take the government to court over the secret instructions to the planning inspectorate to block these applications? Probably not - too risky and imagine how long it would take to get a decision. But the moral bankruptcy of the ODPM position is clear for all to see.

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