Master plans cannot consider the individual small scale effects, it seems. The first phase of HS2 will be devastating enough - crunching through settled and historic parts of London, and then destroying ancient proteceted woodlands, fine listed buildings and hamlets along it's Chilterns path - to say nothing of destroying the aquifer. The blighting effect of HS2 on the architects and other building businesses based in the Chilterns has already happened: beautiful old buildings blighted or to be demolished, and a swathe of land miles wide is now a no-go zone for any building work. The effect will last for decades, before, during and after the construction period, with no benefit to locals. It will blight all in it's path, Stephen. I hope its worth it, but I doubt it just to shave off a few minutes. I suggest you advise the government to fly down those few passenegers who can afford the increased train ticket price - and save our precious towns and landscape. Have a look at the Dutch experience - a financial and social disaster - better to put those billions into needier causes like the ageing population's needs. Jane Duncan, Little Chalfont
Comment on: RIBA opens pension plan for architects
For once the Institute is being really pro-active in setting out to assist small practitioners, and this should be applauded. Our lives are beset with increasing legislative burdens, and this will offer a simple and low cost solution. I say well done and thanks. However I would not like to learn subsequently that it is a profitable business exercise for the RIBA. Of course this must not divert effort from key lobbying, but if our businesses are helped so that we can concentrate on our architecture it does us all good.
Comment on: Industry slams failing Green Deal
There was at best scepticism amongst small architectural practices when the Green Deal was first discussed amongst RIBA members. I would heartily endorse Brian Berry's proposal to reduce VAT on domestic improvement works, many of which now do not require planning consent and could be implemented quickly. Small local architect's practices would be on hand to assist.
Comment on: Obituary: Kathryn Findlay (1953-2014)
I am so shocked and saddened to learn of Kathryn's death; she was a lovely, unassuming, charming and modest woman as well as a unique and creative thinker and generally great architect. Such a role model for others too - a shining light has gone out this week in the world of architecture.
One of the key future developments which this excellent move heralds is the ability for a broader potential range of routes into the profession. This is a clear statement of intent, and starts to enable a wider and more diverse pool of talent to gain access. This will without doubt slow the current backwards slide towards a white, male, well off practioner standard which has sadly developed throughout the recession. Our profession can only improve as a result. Jane Duncan RIBA Equality and Diversity Champion