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Robert Adam suffers major Classical PPS7 blow

Robert Adam has suffered a major blow after the new government department replacing the ODPM announced that it was backing an inspector's report rejecting proposals for a new country house by the architect.

Ruth Kelly, the secretary of state at the Department of Communities and Local Government, has thrown out the Planning Policy Statement 7 plans for a new house in the Hampshire countryside.

vAdam had previously claimed that the inquiry was a test case that would decide whether the PPS7 clause - which replaced the famous PPG 7 country house clause - would include Classical architecture.

The high-profile Classicist argued at the inquiry that his scheme, for a disused quarry near Andover, illustrated how contemporary sustainable technology could be used in a Classical architecture.

But Kelly chose to support the planning inspector, who rejected this argument. 'The secretary of state agrees with the inspector that the attempt to combine energy-saving features within the Classical tradition has not convincingly succeeded,' a letter to the applicant said.

'She considers that the proposed energy-saving proposals in this particular case are not sufficiently innovative to satisfy PPS7.

'Overall, the secretary of state agrees with the inspector's conclusion that in design terms the dwelling would not demonstrate an overall harmony of all its parts. She agrees with the inspector- that the proposal does not reflect the highest standards of contemporary architecture,' the letter adds.

by Ed Dorrell

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