A TOWN of ‘aesthetic pollution’ with a centre of ‘superlative ugliness’.
That’s is how one ‘Tory philosopher’ who lives in the States has described Milton Keynes. Roger Scruton made the blistering attack on a Conservative website this week.
Residents have already rallied behind the city, with MP Iain Stewart leading the defence.
Mr Scruton, described as a writer and philosopher and works as a scholar at the America Enterprise Institute, wrote: “When the layout of a town is conceived from a master plan, the possibilities for disaster are legion.
“A telling example is the English new town of Milton Keynes.”
He continues: “The resulting sprawl houses a population only two-thirds the size of Florence (a city you can walk across) spread over 88 square miles of aesthetic pollution, absorbing and extinguishing villages, towns and farms in a tangle of thruways and roundabouts.”
In the midst of this urban sprawl, says Mr Scruton, residents are ‘trapped in little globules’ between cars.
His criticism of the city centre is even more caustic: ‘The centre of Milton Keynes is recognisable as only by its superlative ugliness, and it provides the residents with no place of social pilgrimage, no precinct for ‘hanging out... It is simply a place you visit out of necessity.”
Milton Keynes South MP Mr Stewart replied: “I simply do not recognise his description. I wonder if he has actually spent any time here. We have a wonderful sense of community and civic pride.’
One resident agreed. “I doubt he has ever seen the trees in autumn or played cricket in Campbell Park in the summer.”
But some agreed with Mr Scruton, with one commentator writing: ‘I would say at one level MK is a success – it is economically successful and companies find it a good location. However it is stonkingly ugly and is not ageing well – it will remain stuck in the 1970s forever.”
The full debate can be seen on www.conservativehome.blogs.com
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