Charles criticised over urban design advice

Reports that Prince Charles has been criticised as a 'cranky elitist' after he outlined ten 'geometric principles' of urban design feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Independent reports that, in an essay for The Architectural Review, the prince "paid homage to the ‘charm and beauty of a place like Kensington and Chelsea’ as he espoused the benefits of terraces and mansion blocks over high-rise towers". But the paper quotes the design critic, Stephen Bayley, dismissing the Prince’s comments "as a combination of the strange and the blindingly obvious". "The good bits are commonsensical stuff about public utility and democratic beauty which no sensible person would ever dispute. The original bits are, frankly, cranky," he said.

The Telegraph reports that conservationists have warned that "more than one in 10 of England’s local wildlife havens have been lost or damaged in the past five years". The paper says a report by The Wildlife Trusts said that sites "including hedgerows and ancient woodland are under threat from house and road building and changes to environmental farming schemes".

Writing in the Guardian, the Royal Town Planning Institute’s head of policy Rick Blyth "picks examples – from Gateshead to the Olympic Park – where good planning made the difference".

The Telegraph reports that London mayor Boris Johnson has said that the compensation offered to people living along the High Speed Two route is "measly and pathetic". The paper says Johnson said that the government had to be "more like the French" and increase the sums paid to homeowners to ensure that the high speed rail line was completely in a timely fashion.

The Independent reports that Johnson’s cross-Thames cable car scheme is failing to attract commuters. The paper says that new figures "show that the number of commuters regularly using the service, which links the Greenwich Peninsula – home of the O2 venue – with Royal Docks has dropped to a new low: zero". According to the paper, research by 853blog, a local news website for Greenwich and south-east London, "discovered that in October not a single commuter used an Oyster card on the cable car more than five times in a week, the number at which they would gain a regular users discount".

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