My only Urban Task Force link was in report attack

I enjoyed the collection of 20 eminent planners and was flattered to find myself among them (Guide to Careers supplement, 19 October).

Unfortunately my task force activity got a bit mashed. I was on the Railways Task Force in Northern Ireland (trying to mothball main tracks, rather than letting them be ripped up), not Lord Rogers' Urban Task Force as stated.

This matters because I was (unfashionably) outspoken against the UTF. I went full tilt at their report (Planning, 16 July 1999, p15). One point, about which I feel especially vindicated, was to say: "There is not much focus on the family in the city. Cappuccinos and loft living are irrelevant to the majority of households. A city without children is transient, socially exclusive, and ultimately unsustainable. A city with children needs houses with gardens, good schools, clean air and safe streets. Sounds like suburbs, Lord Rogers, of which cities are mostly made and which you have seriously neglected."

My Town and Country Planning Association colleague Sir Peter Hall was a UTF member and courageously dissented. I wasn't invited on board.

David Lock, chairman, David Lock Associates.


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