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If planners do well, they should be duly praised

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'Planning consent . . . was surprisingly not a problem.'

The quote is from Alastair Blyth's informative article (AJ 14.10.99) on Sarah Wigglesworth and Jeremy Till's innovative North London house.

The local planning authority which Alastair Blyth seems curiously reluctant to mention and is so surprised gave consent under delegated authority, is Islington.

Are your correspondents so grudging about planners and the planning system that when praise or even recognition is so clearly due, they just cannot bring themselves to do it?

We are committed in Islington to fostering and supporting innovative architecture. The architectural profession has responded and Islington enjoys many fine examples.

I am conscious that some architects experience problems with the operation of the planning system.

Others question its existence. The system works well where architects and planners engage with mutual respect, recognising the distinctive roles each play in achieving a development which is fit for purpose and its surroundings.

I suspect most of your readers would agree from their own experience. Is it so difficult for architects, architectural correspondents and the AJ to recognise and celebrate this?

Ian Crawley, head of environmental and regulatory services, London Borough of Islington

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