Roger Scruton has been appointed to a government panel to ensure design quality in the delivery of 100,000 homes in its Starter Home initiative. Can this philosopher and writer really help give would-be purchasers what they want?
You, Terry Farrell and Quinlan Terry heading the government’s design panel for new homes – are we looking at a large-scale classical renaissance?
I doubt it. But of course, there is considerable evidence that the general public is dissatisfied with modernist architecture and the kind of perfunctory design that ignores the layout of streets and facades. The important task is to create a new consensus, which will overcome the population’s hostility to new building. This cannot be done without taking people’s preferences into account, and the evidence is that people prefer, if not classicism, at least the kind of visual order of which classicism is an instance.