As a one-time resident of Cirencester and now of another Area of Outstanding National Beauty, the High Weald in Sussex, I thought to apprise Eileen Grout who wrote in the last issue a letter lamenting the fantasy that is the planners' delight of the developments afoot in our two counties, West Sussex and Gloucestershire.

I wish to share a dream I had the other night: I dreamt I was a planner, commingled with the spirit of a Lord and Lady.

In this state I saw trees and rolling hills, I espied birds and bees, I even saw the apparently dwindling rivers and streams; these were things of beauty and I knew what "I" must do: I decided to take Lord Prescott's famous dictum "The Green Belt is a great idea. We should build on it."

My mood changed: enough of the greenery thought I; down with the "fresh woods and pastures new"; go away ye frogs and butterflies, cease playing in fields children and parents.

"I" had a better idea: to build as much as I could in Cirencester and any AONB I could (they let "me"!) Was "I' influenced by the fact the such building yields a 30 per cent profit premium for the builders/speculators? Of course.

But I thought if intoned that it was "for the locals" and hoped that no-one noticed too much the tax efficiency "I" made much of, literally and metaphorically, then I'd get away with my vision.

And you know what, I think "I" have!

I woke roughly in the morning: "fled is that vision, do I wake or sleep?" as Keats wrote so eloquently.

Only a lunatic would "pave paradise, put up a parking lot" as Ms Mitchell sang so hauntingly.

"Don't it always seem the same/you don't know what you got 'til it's gone?" Well we do know, I knew even before "my" dream.

And it stinks. Big houses, big profits; traffic clogging the roads, infrastructure stretched and locals well aware at the depredations afoot in your county and mine; too few teachers and schools; not enough medical provision.

The list goes on. The kicker is that "Help to Buy" has been too often used by the already rich and the percentage now owning their own homes has declined 10 per cent in the past 10 years.

And tastefully illustrated by dreamers like "me" in my nightmare.

So who? who exactly is benefitting from the destruction of Blake's beloved Albion? You? Me? Of course not.

It's the sort of cynic who had "my" dream: it's the "developers" (there's a misnomer for you!); it's the investors....It's not for you and me, all this.

As that other poet said, "Money don't talk, it swears."

Many a true word spoken in spleen Mr Zimmerman, many a true word.

Eileen is right and unless the people find a way to control "developers" and misguided government initiatives, then we will be asked by our children, 'What were you doing while the tarmacking of the idyll was allowed, Mummy?" It's a good question.

What is your answer? If the "answer" is that is being planned then it's a darned silly question.

I mean, what sort of lunatic turns Cirencester into a town like others?

Which turns my village of Lindfield into a town? Simples: one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Gary Morgan,

Lindfield, West Sussex

(ex Stratton and Chesterton and mightily cheesed off)