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Please, no more Dutch mister nice-guy

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Shame on you for allowing the issue of 3.6.99 to be dominated by the very depressing article Dutch Courage for the Future. On the second page, one is immediately crushed by the appalling bird's eye view of a relentless grid iron set out in a featureless desert. You even have the nerve to subtitle it 'Poor UK housing design - the Netherlands show what can be achieved'.

As one turns the pages it is like a recurring nightmare of some of the worst 1960s and 1970s British housing that we, thank goodness, have left far behind. Regrettably, there is not a tree in sight.

I am not so concerned about design. I accept dated and non-innovative plans and sections but I am most concerned about the awful environment created, about the lack of quality of the spaces enclosed by the buildings, about the fact that there is no sense of place except that of an internment camp.

You should have held these samples up as 'how not to do it'. On a broader front, why are you never critical of the schemes you publish, why is it all so adulatory? Do please be a bit braver and let us have some outspoken assessments - do not assume that your readers are all zombies.

J Robotham, Mathew Robotham Associates

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