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Gove backs green field housing, but only if ‘beautiful’

Michael Gove has called for more homes on green field land on the condition developments show ‘grace and beauty’

Education secretary Michael Gove has hit out at opponents of the ‘release of more land for housing’, arguing they were against aspiration and social mobility.

Delivering a lecture at the Centre for Policy Studies, Gove also said new housing schemes should be things of ‘grace and beauty, to ravish the eye and lift up the soul.’

He said: ‘Many of the most beautiful vistas in the United Kingdom are beautiful because of building. Whether it’s Chatsworth or the Nash terraces of Regent’s Park, Edinburgh’s New Town or Salisbury Cathedral, the man-made environment is as capable of inspiring awe as anything in nature.

‘So when we think of new building we should not think only of losing some undeveloped land - we should also think of the potential to create something of grace and beauty, to ravish the eye and lift up the soul. That too few modern buildings can aspire to real beauty is a challenge to the architectural profession.’

The government was forced to water down its controversial national Planning Policy Framework, introduced last year, over fears it could lead to unrestrained development of greenfield land.











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