It is perhaps not altogether a coincidence that your Tuesday edition carries on one page a notice of Prof. Buchanan's warning that good housing is no relief from the depressing effects of drab surroundings, and on another a plea by two Burton Councillors for the old rectory.
It is encouraging that so many people are prepared to protest against the dreary materialism and inertia which seems to pervade the actions of the bureaucracies of Church and State.
The rectory question is being amply ventilated, though it is worth noting that Diocesan Delapidations Board are the responsible authority and any praise or blame for what passed and is to come belongs to the board, and not as one of your correspondents suggests to the rector.
Let us not forget that elsewhere in the town other buildings are in danger or already lost. The old school, universally acknowledged as an architectural gem, is fast going to ruin as are the neighbouring houses on the Causeway: it is said that potential restorers are waiting for the neccessary plans and consents.
One wonders whether the wheels of administration will turn fast enough to enable these buildings to be saved. Further along Church Street and in Bakehouse Lane, old - but restorable - properties of character have already been demolished. No planning consents were possible because they stood on the line of the hypothetical relief road.
This road scheme is no substitute for a by-pass and would effectively cut the town in two, and at the same time greatly impair the amenities of the Hall, Church Street, the parish Church and the Manor House.
A deplorable proposal by any standard particularly from a ministry which is allegedly cultivating a tender conscience in relation to the environment. Nevertheless it seems that it is administratively more convenient to refuse planning consents than to have an offending road line removed from the County Plan.
It is understandable in view of the publicity, but nonetheless unfortunate, that the Church should be singled out for blame (if indeed any blame is justly due) when so much of what is already lost - and will be unless swift action is taken - is nothing to do with the Church authorities.
It is to be hoped that the feeling displayed over the rectory affair will serve fair warning to all concerned authorities that there are many residents of Burton who are no longer prepared to watch the town being destroyed without protest.