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Protecting open space is hardly nit-picking

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Paul Finch might think that the criticisms of the South Bank masterplan were nit-picking (aj 13.4.00), but the issue of major development on metropolitan open land is not a nit-picking question: it goes to the heart of urban policy in London.

Do Paul Finch and theCommission for Architecture and the Built Environment (cabe) feel it would be acceptable to build all over St James's Park and Hyde Park simply in order to provide funding for an arts institution?

Why, in cabe's response to the South Bank proposals, did they not give a measured view of the pros and cons of the development, taking into account the legitimate concerns of the local residents and many others, supported by Lambeth's local unitary development plan, who wish to see a modicum of proper open space in this area of London?

Or is the role of cabe simply to support the designs of 'name' architects rather than take into account wider issues?

Emma Winkley, Waterloo Community Development Group

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