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Wootton Hall is living proof of value of PPG 7

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As the architect of Wootton Hall, one of the first 'PPG 7' houses to be completed, I have every reason to be grateful for the clause's existence (AJ 8.5.03).

Wootton Hall was built on the site of a country house demolished in the 1930s. In the intervening 70 years, the landscape setting had been totally neglected and the gardens had completely disappeared. In the absence of a resident owner, the whole estate had an uncared-for appearance.

The building of the new house has completely revived the estate: stone walls have been rebuilt, the park re-established, the drive bridge repaired and the woodland gardens are re-emerging from decades of overgrowth.

With farming in its present parlous state, there would have been no reason to inject the money necessary to achieve this without the return of being able to build a new house in a beautiful setting.

Moreover, at the risk of sounding immodest, the new (Classical) house is undoubtedly an ornament in the wider landscape. The Royal Fine Art Commission judged that 'architecturally, it seems likely that [Wootton Hall] would be the best building to be erected in quite a wide area over quite a number of years: possibly the whole country for a decade'.

I think that promise has been fulfilled and would therefore suggest that it is in everybody's interest that the clause be retained.

Digby Harris, Bridlington

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