Letter: Building with beautiful stone

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The Independent Online
Sir: J J Fergusson is absolutely right about "Mould-on-the-Wold" but he could have strengthened his case even more by noting the great variety of detail in the mummified heaps of stone that represent Cotswold towns and villages ("The Cotswolds, theme park for Little Englanders", 5 August). The detail reflects changes in style and taste as well as functional everyday life across several centuries and none of it would be there today had previous planners operated today's restrictive practices.

The exhaustive use of the one building material reflected only its abundance and availability, not architectural taste, and other indigenous building materials colour other parts of England equally gloriously, but not to the exclusion of change and development. Where Cotswold planners err is in their arrogant eschewing of variety that always existed.

Nevertheless the Cotswolds have significant and undeniable natural, geographical beauty that is as worth conserving as in a national park.

MERVYN BENFORD

Banbury, Oxfordshire

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