Diary

There are plenty of ways to halt a game of cricket - bad light, rain and streakers among them. But wind turbines have rarely featured on the list.

Now a proposal for an 18m turbine in the West Yorkshire green belt near Halifax has been turned down due to its potential impact on cricketers playing nearby. Inspector Philip Major agreed that the turbine at Harper Barn, Bradshaw, would not adversely affect the area's character or residents' amenity.

However, following representations from a local resident, he visited the nearby cricket ground and noted the effect the development would have on play. The turbine would be almost directly in the eyeline of batsmen on some of the wickets, he discovered.

"I do not doubt that this would be a distraction and potentially disruptive to the enjoyment or outcome of the game. To a lesser extent, it would be possible that fielders would be distracted by the turbine," the inspector concluded. Clearly, renewable energy is just not cricket in some parts of the countryside.

Having lived in London's Harlesden district for longer than a weird weekend, documentary maker Louis Theroux has now been nominated town champion.

The honour has prompted him to urge his local council to do something about the state of the town. "In so many ways Harlesden is a wonderful place, full of energy and life. But it isn't living up to its potential. The roads are decaying, the buildings are dilapidated and some of the finest are derelict," he complains.

Theroux, who has interviewed rap artists, white supremacists, prostitutes and celebrities such as Jimmy Savile, Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, spoke out following publication by the London Borough of Brent and Transport for London of the Harlesden Town Charter to improve the area.

A government regeneration agency has slammed proposals to move the 2012 Olympic marathon route away from east London as a "missed opportunity" for promoting the area.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games is considering a proposal to shift the marathon's finish from Stratford to the Mall. But the idea has gone down badly with the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation.

"Moving the Olympic route away from east London will take the focus away from the very area where international investors need to be concentrated," declares head of communications Patrick Edwards. "It's the regeneration equivalent of missing an open goal."

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has rejected proposals for 600 homes over fears of Tom and Jerry-style slayings.

Councillors decided that the scheme at Paddock Wood is too dangerous for dormice due to the threat from residents' cats. The native hazel dormouse, which can hibernate for up to six months, is an endangered species in the UK.

Labour member Ray Moon says the council has a responsibility to sustain wildlife. But independent councillor Ron Goodman is angered by the ruling. "You're trying to make a decision based on what's good for dormice. It's all nonsense. It's crazy," he complains.


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