Diary: fibreglass cow planning wrangle

Edinburgh's Kyloe Restaurant and Grill has lost its battle to retain a fibreglass cow in a first-floor window, the city council rejecting a retrospective application.

While it has "no adverse effect on public safety", the cow "represents a loss of visual amenity", the planning report finds. Heritage watchdog Historic Scotland said it "is clearly an advertisement rather than public art".

However, Diary notes that it is not all bad news for owner Signature Pub Group. "The structure is in separate halves," the report observes, and "the inner half does not require advertisement consent".

Eric Pickles has long resisted "Soviet-style" top-down planning, but Diary is unsure whether this relates to his pin-up status in Russia. A Sun on Sunday exclusive revealed that the minister gets so much fan mail from the former USSR that he no longer replies. There was a time when Pickles would send signed photos at his own expense, the paper claims.

But, receiving hundreds of requests each year, he has now told civil servants to delete them as soon as they arrive. "We've had to stop sending autographs abroad because the sheer number of requests that come in was taking up so much time," a source "close to Mr Pickles" told the paper. The source added that Pickles will still answer UK fan mail - although it is not clear how much he is sent.

In Cheshire, green belt policy has become a concern for footballer Wayne Rooney's wife Coleen, who has formally objected to Cheshire East Council over developer Harvey Wood Investments' plans for 15 homes near her Prestbury mansion. "Let's not ruin our village," she wrote, claiming that the scheme would be in "direct conflict" with green belt policy.

"There is no evidence of very special circumstances required to override the harm to the green belt - the absence of a five-year land supply in Cheshire East does not constitute such circumstances," she added. Her concerns, which also include highway safety impacts, were echoed in objections from several neighbours such as the wife of former Slade lead singer Noddy Holder.

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