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Pawley's predicted and final land grab - my view

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The predicted and final land grab (Martin Pawley, AJ 26.7.02) is irrelevant when you consider what is really going on in our urban areas.

If Pawley could put it all into perspective he would see how it finally brings about any sensible likelihood of controlling sporadic development just about everywhere.

While it finally concludes the construction of large family houses and generous gardens in the Green Belt once and for all, it also brings an end to 20th-century thinking on the subject and Pawley's dreams.

He derides the 'juggernaut' progress of urban renewal as a reason to build at low density in our own outback, but Prescott's steps are still sensible and in the right direction, even if they have no immediate impact. You cannot allow market forces to dictate everything and he should be commended for the way a difficult situation has been dealt with.

The public apprehension over building in the countryside has probably paid off politically and while no quick-fix is available, it is reassuring to know the 21st century is starting off in a more controlled manner than the previous. It would be unwise to ignore public opinion even if it juggernauts this process even more. Considerable public consultation over the design process is essential, and it would be a vast mistake to think higherdensity housing can be built in such quantities without it.

Rex Hawkesworth, Portsmouth

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