Letter: Historic debt we owe Raine

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The Independent Online
You do less than justice to Raine Spencer ("Why are they famous?", Real Life, 27 April). As chairman of the GLC Historic Buildings Committee she was the driving force behind the action, first local and later national, to preserve the historic cores of our cities from the Sixties property development boom. Not only would the Covent Garden Piazza have lost its character to anonymous high-rise boxes but also such small, attractive networks of residential streets as the Alwynes in Islington.

I was a councillor in planning in Lincoln at the time and of a different party, but there were times when I felt that she was the only local-government politician with clout in the country who both understood what was happening and recognised the urgency. Much had already disappeared, but her work and the conservation-area legislation which followed from it ensured that such wanton destruction could not happen again. Now, anyone taking an evening stroll around the cared-for streets of Georgian Bath or York or Lincoln may well be standing on what would be a car-park if it hadn't been for her.

Clodagh Wilkinson

London W11

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