Letter: Brown-field building

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FEW would disagree with the principles behind the Government paper published this week on Planning for the Communities of the Future, although there may well be doubts as to the practicalities.

The development of "brownfield" sites not merely provides homes but also removes unsightly dereliction in the inner cities. Regalian has been a leader in urban regeneration throughout the 1980s and has continued this policy in the 1990s, taking a lead in the conversion of redundant office buildings to residential use.

We will however, have no choice but to back away from our previous dedication to urban regeneration if there is a lack of commitment from local planning authorities to review their procedures. Many examples exist in central London of unreasonable delays and unrealistic demands from these authorities, inevitably delaying development. Regalian wholeheartedly supports the need for "a more flexible approach to planning policy". Unfortunately, there has been little evidence of such an approach on the part of planning authorities. For the policy proposed by John Prescott to succeed this flexible approach is now even more essential.

DAVID J GOLDSTONE

Chairman

Regalian Properties plc

London W1

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