29 OCTOBER 1937, Page 17

New Homes .

That hard-working and highly expert body, the Council for-the Preservation of Rural England, has received some rather acrid criticism 'from critics who seem to some of us very ill- informed. The lead was given by one of the technical

architectural journals (if a weekly paper may be so called). Much the.same point has been taken by the different critics : that preservation of the old is allowed to interfere with the creation of what is new. Building is proceeding at a really terrific rate ; and the insistence on decent style in these later additions is a wider necessity than the propping up of antique houses. To this end the C.P.R.E., with the ardent co- operation of the Institute of Architects, set up volunteer panels of architects whose task it was to give good advice to local authorities. These panels consisted of modern architects whose chief job in life is designing new buildings. It is possible that they have not been in favour -of the squat, flat- roofed,-wall-eyed squares that begin to deface the south coast, but their emphasis has been laid on good new buildings, not in the preservation of hovels ; and the country owes them a very great debt indeed. Incidentally it-is astonishing how often, when cottages are. condemned, the inmates prefer the old picturesqueness to the new comfort. Late the prisoner of Chilton they could say : " Even I regained my freedom with a sigh." The country people themselves are- more, not less, conservative than - the • C:P.R.E. panels of architects. An admirable answer to this school. of- criticism is given by Lord Derby in a preface to the latest C.P.R.E. -book, Building in Lancashire, priced at one shilling. Almost all the Man* photographs are eloquent of the new architecture.