The AJ's campaign to save the country house clause in PPG 7 has gained momentum, with more than 50 new signatories adding their names to our letter to Lord Rooker (AJ22.5.03). In the past week, leading figures such as CABE chairman Sir Stuart Lipton, Richard Rogers Partnership managing director Marco Goldschmied and past RIBA president Michael Manser have all expressed their support, along with designers Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, the Peabody Trust's director of development Dickon Robinson, RIBA chief executive Richard Hastilow and patrons Frances and John Sorrell. Sir Michael Hopkins, Peter Ahrends, and Eva Jiricna have also put their weight behind the campaign.
Some of their comments are printed below along with those from AJ readers, who have also given us their support.
Thank you to all those who have commented, including the small number who have expressed reservations about the clause. Keep your comments coming. Next week we will look in greater depth at the arguments both for and against saving PPG 7.
'Houses have traditionally been the seed corn of innovative architecture. The Queen's House in Greenwich, designed by Inigo Jones, initiated the great houses of the 18th century which, in turn, generated a hundred years of, as yet unsurpassed, Georgian squares and terraces of superlatively designed elegant and practical mass housing for all income levels' Michael Manser, past RIBA president
'You have our support as long as there are powers to stop bloody daft large-scale starfish from appearing everywhere! ! !'
Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, designers
'I despair for this country when our cultural policy is defined by the opinions and envies of the fictitious characters in the Archers.'
Tim Drewitt, RIBA honorary librarian 'We need to keep developing and innovating. We mustn't fossilise.'
Frances and John Sorrell, directors, Sorrell Foundation
'Congratulations on this splendid initiative! I am wholly in support of your campaign. Since only 15 applications have been successful in the last 5 years it would hardly appear to have been the charter for unscrupulous developers.'
'The English country house has provided this country with some of its finest buildings by the best architects that have ever practised the art. It is absurd that this tradition may shortly be confined to the history books and so denying posterity the finest architecture that the future might otherwise provide.'
'Perhaps the government should consider introducing a clause that all new housing should be subject to a quality clause and we would not be subjected to the mindless, soulless sprawl that is enveloping England's market towns and villages and despoiling our countryside.'
Jonathan Ellis-Miller Robert Adam
Visit our website to view the letter, which we also published in full last week.
To sign up to the campaign email us at ed. dorell@construct. emap. com or write to Save the Clause, The Architects' Journal, 151 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4GB.