BACK ISSUES — October 1945 Sodom and Gomorrah

Speaking at Town and Country Planning Association conference at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, Mr Clough Williams-Ellis FRIBA said that some holiday resorts were still so benighted that they had consulted no town planner or landscape architect, had no orchestra, no camera obscura, and had never tasted or even smelt good coffee. He said such places were, of course, as doomed to well-deserved extinction as Sodom and Gomorrah.

The problem of planning a holiday resort was quite different to that of ordinary planning and housing. In such cases, one of the aims was that you should be near or handily placed for your work. In a holiday resort everything should be contrived to make you forget it – forget the shop, the office, the bench and the desk and 8.15. Forget, too, the shopping queue, the stewpot and the mangle. Forget for a fortnight your accustomed, and perhaps not very exciting, street and neighbour, your prudent domestic budgeting, and for one glorious extravagant fortnight, at least, live recklessly above your income and have a high old time.

The things that skilled and imaginative planning can give you for next to nothing are the most important things of all – intimacy without the sacrifice of light and air, variety without discord and with everything fitting both for convenience of use and for elegance of looks. Trees, lots of them, of the right sort in the right places. More grass and less asphalt, no railings, no “shrubs”, plenty of flowers, no silly snobbish little “alpines” interned in dusty “rockeries” but gay and lusty common flowers that will ramp, thrive and enjoy themselves with minimum attention.