Letter: Sad case of the lilac-painted house

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Sir: Everybody involved in the sad case of Ted Braunholtz's decision to paint his stone house lilac (23 April) is missing the point. It is not the fact that the house was painted lilac that matters. It is the fact that the house was painted at all.

You don't paint stone. Putting aside the fact that natural stone is beautiful to look at, paint doesn't last very long externally. "The lilac will last for another 10 years," Mr Braunholtz admits. And what then? A repaint or faded, peeling walls?

As for the Environmental Secretary's verdict that the colour of a house " is substantially a matter of personal taste", it was the finish not the colour that should have been in question.

And as for "a victory by national campaigners, who claim it gives people the right to paint their homes whatever colour they wish", they are wrong. If they do not want to live in a conservation area where the past is preserved, they are not obliged to.

A case in point is Edinburgh's New Town, which is a gem of Georgian architecture. Residents are not permitted to paint their doors and windows colours other than those from a limited range. To paint the beautiful sandstone is absolutely beyond consideration.

Colin Campbell