Neighbours object to solar panels at Agatha Christie hotel

Reports of objections to plans for 200 solar panels at a Devon hotel that inspired the crime writer Agatha Christie feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription required) reports that "the owners of Burgh Island Hotel, where the queen of detective fiction often retreated to write, want to install hundreds of solar panels to reduce their electricity bills". The newspaper says the owners of the hotel have submitted a planning application to South Hams District Council, which says "that they considered installing a wind turbine or fitting rooftop solar panels but decided instead to cover a former tennis court with solar panels made of ‘dark grey-non reflective glass’".

The Daily Telegraph reports that "four objections have been received to date by the council, including one from Hubert Ashton of Folly Hill, which overlooks the island", which said it would be "a monstrous carbuncle on an old friend". The council is holding a meeting on 12 November to hear residents’ views, according to the newspaper.

The Telegraph also reports on comments by Liberal Democrat deputy government chief whip in the House of Lords, Lord Newby, that "middle-aged couples in large homes should be encouraged to sell and down-size to a smaller property to ‘benefit’ society". The newspaper says that, speaking in a debate, "he pointed to government trials in which taxpayers money had been used to help cover the costs of moving and to help arrange mortgage financing for so-called empty nesters".

News of English Heritage’s 2014 Heritage at Risk register is also reported by the Telegraph. Sites added include the shipwreck of HMS Hazardous in Sussex, threatened by "natural environmental conditions and illegal trawling over the site", the "largest surviving tin mine in Europe, Geevor in west Cornwall" and "the main ballroom of the listed Victorian Eastbourne pier, which was destroyed in July".

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that car dealer Cargiant and Premier League football club Queen’s Park Rangers "have unveiled rival plans to build thousands of homes" on west London semi-industrial site Old Oak Common, "the last big undeveloped site in London" and "London’s biggest regeneration opportunity since the Olympics". Neither business "has ever built a single house", the newspaper points out, but says that Cargiant may have the upper hand as the biggest landowner and the main employer on the site.

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