Thursday, June 4, 2015

No Surprise: Charles a Housing, Heritage Advocate

While I have seen and even paged-through Prince Charles’ 1989 book, A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture many times, I have never purchased a copy. I suppose I should.

The Prince’s views on architecture, and his preference for the traditional over the modern are well-known. Ever since his famous “monstrous carbuncles” speech back in 1984, where he lectured the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and lambasted modern design, the Prince has been steadfast in his support for traditional design, refusing to back down.

That’s why the recent release of the Prince’s correspondence regarding health, housing and heritage matters is no surprise. Six letters written by Charles have been published by the Government and show how the heir to the throne raised issues close to his heart with the heads of various government departments.

It’s the second batch of letters released under a freedom of information request. I’m not quite sure what the request had hoped to uncover, since the letters support what most people already know about Charles’ areas of interest and concern.

One letter, from June 2009, detailed his concerns about "major historic sites, many of which are lying derelict''. He also hit out at "unscrupulous owners" for abandoning certain unnamed sites.

In another, he expresses concern about the lack of affordable rural housing:
''I have seen from my visits around the country the real problems finding an affordable home causes for those on low incomes in the countryside - many of whom are carrying out essential jobs, such as farm workers, teachers, shopkeepers and health workers and on whom the future viability of rural life depends.''

All in all, the letter reveal little if anything new, but they do provide additional detail about Prince Charles’ dedication to housing and heritage issues.

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