Tory philosopher Roger Scruton has a new book out called Beauty and also an article in The Times about it this morning.

There is lots of material in Scruton’s book of relevance to councillors – especially those who sit on planning committees. He is concerned by the disregard for beauty of modern architects and town planners resulting in new buildings voted through by planning committees being typically ugly. Why do councillors put up with it?

Scruton also wants a tougher approach to conservation. In his book he writes:

"Your neighbour fills her garden with kitsch mermaids and Disneyland gnomes, polluting the view from your window; she designs her house in a ludicrous Costa Brava style, in loud primary colours that utterly ruin the tranquil atmosphere of the street, and so on. Now her taste has ceased to be a private matter and inflicted itself on the public realm. We begin to dispute the matter: you appeal to the town council, atrguing that her house and garden are not in keeping with the street, that this particular part of town is scheduled to retain a Georgina serenity, that her house clashes with classical facades of adjacent buildings. (In a recent British case a house-owner, influenced by art-school fashions, erected a plastic sculpture of a shark on his roof, to give the impression that a great fish had crashed through the tiles into the attic. Protests from neighbours and the local planning officer led to a prolonged legal battle which the house-owner – an American, who no longer lives in he house – eventually won.)"