Britain has no difficulty building great and beautiful things: castles, gardens, theatres, orchestras, the National Health Service, the BBC. Why do we have such difficulty protecting them? In our protest against McDonald's, our greatest hope that it is the threat to the traffic that will persuade local authorities.
A simple stat for you to start: there are four mentions of 'rural' in the Budget document released by the Treasury today (available here) and 13 for 'cities'.
Some readers will recall that not so long ago, in the autumn of 2011, the government released its first stab at trimming down Britain's onerous planning regulations. The National Planning Policy Framework, or NPPF as it became known, was seen by the coalition as a useful new weapon in its battle to control the deficit - more houses, more wealth, more growth.