Letter: The power to impose conservation

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The Independent Online
Sir: I greatly enjoyed David James's article, 'Every home needs its moat' (8 April). This is good knock-about stuff in just the kind of intemperate language Mr James accuses conservationists of.

Mr James makes sure he is only obliged to mention the crucial phrase 'Conservation Area' once. It is disappointing that he is so out of touch with the prevailing mood. Why else would the Government introduce such further, widely welcomed, controls at a time of general deregulation?

The fact that these controls will only apply in parts of Conservation Areas (which in total cover less than 5 per cent of the country), and that the local authority will be required to consult the affected residents first, is not mentioned because it would seriously undermine his argument.

Apart from the architectural, historic and cultural value of these areas, there is the overwhelming desire of residents to see such additional controls introduced - not least to protect their property values from those who champion 'freedom' without the associated 'responsibility'.

Yours sincerely,


The Association of

Conservation Officers



8 April

The writer is Heritage Adviser to the Association of District Councils.