Let­ter of the week The kind­ness of strangers

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

WHEN my son left the Army some 15 years ago, he took up its of­fer of a three-month train­ing course in journalism. One project was to ap­proach three high-pro­file peo­ple (un­aided by per­sonal ac­quain­tance) and re­quest an in­ter­view. He duly ap­proached Jilly Cooper (In­ter­view, Septem­ber 7), who gen­er­ously agreed to meet him at her home. Af­ter a very amus­ing and widerang­ing talk, he was able to put within his open­ing para­graph ‘and this is the woman who left the en­tire draft of a book on a train to Lon­don’. She said that, when start­ing out in her journalism ca­reer, some es­tab­lished writ­ers and pub­lish­ers had been kind to her, hence her grant­ing this favour, but what a lovely thing to do. Janie Day, Suf­folk

AS a ru­ral plan­ning con­sul­tant, I felt that the ar­ti­cle ‘Stop go­ing round the hous­ing cri­sis’ (Athena, Au­gust 17) ap­peared to place the blame at the de­vel­op­ers’ door, but re­sis­tance to small devel­op­ment by plan­ners is rather more to blame. Per­haps un­der­stand­ably, they like large de­vel­op­ments that help to meet the lo­cal hous­ing tar­get, in­volve lit­tle more work than a small scheme and usu­ally meet the plan­ner’s Holy Grail of ‘sus­tain­able devel­op­ment’.

Thou­sands of small vil­lages could ac­com­mo­date 6–10 ex­tra homes and many builders would love to put them up us­ing lo­cal labour and lo­cal ma­te­ri­als, how­ever, get­ting per­mis­sion for such devel­op­ment is now vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble. Nigel Cant, Devon

The writer of the let­ter of the week will win a bot­tle of Pol Roger Brut Réserve Cham­pagne

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