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Local authority's input should be recognised

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I was interested to read the perceptive profile of the sheltered housing scheme, Cherry Tree House, in Bounds Green, north London (Brick Bulletin, AJ 16.11.00). However, your reporter has inadvertently given an inaccurate statement.

Notes of meetings show that the original design by Sheppard Robson led to objections and that the planning officers required major changes. The conservation officer recommended a housing scheme at Amersfort as a possible model, as well as the Jeremy Dickson scheme in Maida Vale and the Caversham Road site in Camden. The demolition consent could only be justified, in the opinion of the local authority officers, by a contextual highquality designer.

The article states that it was Sheppard Robson's decision to produce something uncompromisingly bold and modern. This is inaccurate. It is important that the support and guidance of local authority officers in design issues is acknowledged and encouraged. The Urban Task Force emphasises the importance of high-quality new buildings. Good contextual design will only flourish by acknowledging all beneficial influences. This is an early example (pre-dating the Urban Task Force report) of a local authority working in this way, and would not have come about without the local authority officers' detailed design guidance.

Eleni Makri, conservation officer, Haringey Council

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