Page:Old Towns and New Needs.djvu/48

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26
OLD TOWNS AND NEW NEEDS

circumference of the town. Practical politicians—such as the writers of the latest report of the Traffic Branch of the Board of Trade—admit that it is necessary to form a circuit road round a considerable portion of London at a distance no greater than five or six miles from the centre. I would urge that this circuit road should be completed so as to form an entire, if somewhat irregular circle. I would advocate such an arrangement of its course as would bring it into touch with all parks and open spaces already existing within reach, and, to complete the scheme, I would go one step further. It will be realised that the district through which such a road as this passes, might, if its course were judiciously chosen, consist very largely of the class of property which, socially, is at its lowest ebb.

It might, if its proximity to the centre were rather closer than that proposed by the Board of Trade, lie outside the suburb which has exchanged its residential decadence for commercial importance and inside the district of the better class suburb. It ought not, therefore, to be very difficult to devote a good portion of this property to rural development. The land might still have a financial value, for it is more than possible that an enactment restricting the number of houses per acre might lead to the formation of a rural suburb of greater worth than the existing inferior house property. I would not go the length of suggesting that all the land included in the belt of green should be park open to the public—though some would prefer that consummation—but consider that the desired end might be obtained by the mere insistence on the