Boles: planning changes 'make world a slightly better place'

A claim from planning minister Nick Boles that the world is a 'slightly better place' since the government's changes to the planning system came into effect features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Telegraph reports
that, speaking at a conference, Boles said: "We’re really in it because we want to somehow make a difference and we want to leave a little mark on the sand. Not that anyone will remember us, not that anyone will write about us, but we will know when we go to our graves that we did something and we made the world a slightly better place." The newspaper says that Boles also disclosed that his ideal job in government would be working in the education department. He said that education is the only department with a comparable impact to planning, the newspaper reports.

The Independent reports that figures published today show that the number of surveyors reporting increasing house prices has risen to an 11-year high as the government’s controversial Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme fuels demand. The newspaper says that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has called for urgent action to prevent "soaring" demand outstripping the supply of homes for sale. The newspaper quotes Simon Rubinsohn, its chief economist, saying: "More and more first-time buyers are in a position to enter the market. In spite of this, the amount of homes up for sale is still nowhere near enough to keep up with demand and, in order for the market to function correctly, this imbalance urgently needs to be addressed."

The Guardian reports that more than 3,000 retail jobs are at risk as the film rental chain Blockbuster and shoe shop Barratts announced they were going into administration. The newspaper says both retailers have failed before. "Blockbuster was among a string of well-known high-street brands to go bust at the beginning of the year, while it is the third time Barratts has fallen into administration in less than five years", the newspaper reports.

A Devon village is to be sold in its entirety for an estimated £10 million, the Telegraph reports. According to the newspaper, the picturesque village of Bantham has been in the same family for generations and many of the resident's tenancies have passed down through their families. "But they could now face being evicted and left homeless after it emerged the village is set to be sold. Residents fear it may go to a ‘faceless financial institution’ who has no concern for their well being", the newspaper says.

The Guardian reports that property company Land Securities has said it is "close to fixing the problems at its Walkie-Talkie City skyscraper after the glare from the building melted car parts on the street below over the summer". The newspaper quotes chief executive Robert Noel saying: "A solution is in the final stages of design and implementation will commence shortly. Despite the solar glare issue of the summer, occupiers have not been blinded to the efficiency and location of the building. We are close to resolving the issue and it will not delay occupation nor inflate budgeted cost".

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