The annual sponsored moustache-growing event "Movember" took place last month.

Various people from the planning world took part, ending November with more facial hair than at the start and helping to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues.

Participants in the Prostate Cancer Charity-run event included 12 lawyers from Hogan Lovells' real estate and intellectual property team, three staff from consultancy Savills, Planning columnist and London Borough of Croydon chief executive Jon Rouse and a team of Department for Communities and Local Government civil servants known as "Burge's Bumfluff Brigade".

Next to Odessa in Ukraine, where planners were shocked when Star Wars villain Darth Vader appeared seeking permission from the authorities for somewhere to park his spaceship.

A costumed resident made the application based on a new law that aims to encourage greater private land ownership in the former communist nation by granting any citizen 1,000 square metres of land for free. The man was protesting at some choice bits of coast being given away under this law, raising fears of corruption.

In a YouTube video, Vader says: "Knowing that many deputies and the mayor have switched to the dark side, I have come for a land plot for my space cruiser."

A city official said the application would be considered, but added: "We are not on the dark side, we are light-side people."

Finally to Scotland, where a proposal to put a giant Olympic logo on Edinburgh Castle to mark the Games in London has sparked a row. According to reports, Games chiefs have lodged plans to mount an eight-metre high model of the five Olympic rings on the north face of the castle throughout next summer's Games.

A spokesman for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games said the move is "part of delivering on our promise to genuinely make this a UK-wide Games".

But deputy council leader Steve Cardownie said: "The walls of Edinburgh Castle have repelled a number of attempts to invade it over the years and I'm sure this will be too."

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