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Not all rural councils want all greenfield

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May I wish Lord Rogers all success in his work on the Brownfield Task Force (AJ 26.2.98).

Presumably 'kick up the backside' was a misquote. Writing as chairman of West Oxfordshire District Council, may I advise Lord Rogers and his committee that such an approach could well produce a ripe rural response.

My council proposed more housing in towns and minimal infill in villages, only to have our proposal turned on its head by the local plan inspector who proposed less housing in towns and more housing in villages. Since 100 houses in the countryside produce one million miles of car commuting, we rejected the inspector's recommendations.

I was pleased to make this point and others to their Lordships' allparty environment and architecture group recently on behalf of the RIBA.

In particular I wanted to point out that 'brownfield' is not a simple single-issue subject - it is a countrywide, not just a metropolitan, issue.

Development of small brownfield sites is almost certain to require architects' services. Thirty thousand architects greatly outnumber planning committee members who determine local plan housing site allocations - make your views known to them, be annoyingly persistent.

You can make a difference!

COLIN JAMES Witney, Oxfordshire

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