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Planning Green Paper is the important issue

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LETTERS

The story 'Planning Charter Call' (AJ 31.1.02) mischievously misrepresents my letter to the government in response to consultations on the Planning Green Paper 'Planning - Delivering a Fundamental Change'. In so doing your journalist has sought to compromise my professional reputation.

Your article implies I have expressed concern over planning committee members in Camden taking money for influencing decisions. This is a gross misrepresentation. There is nothing in my letter to suggest this, and I made it unequivocally clear to the journalist who phoned me to check the story that this was untrue, and that it would be wrong to misrepresent me in this way.

Camden's planning committee's reputation is not the issue.

Indeed, Camden is fortunate in having two former architects on its committee whose integrity is beyond question. The architectural community of Camden is indebted to their tireless support for good architecture.

Anecdotal evidence may suggest corruption exists within the planning system nationwide.

However, there is nothing in my letter to the government, or in my experience, to suggest corruption exists within Camden.

The proposed Planning Charter for Camden seeks to improve the planning process. If it was to be adopted nationwide it could help eliminate corruption, be it intellectual, political or financial.

I urge you to publish this letter to make amends for corrosive journalism and to draw attention to the important issue which is the Government Green Paper. Architects can find out more, and make their views known, by visiting the website:

www. planning. dtlr. gov. uk/consult/greenpap/index. htm Chris Roche, former chair, Camden Architects Forum London N1

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