Man ordered to 'rip out mini football pitch for breaking planning rules'

A report that council planners have ordered a householder to remove a mini football pitch that he built in the back garden of his conservation area home features in today's newspaper round-up.

A father who built a mini-football pitch for his 10-year-old son in his back garden "has been ordered to rip it out for breaching planning rules", according to the Daily Mail. The newspaper reports that Kevin Grealis, 48, fenced off the back yard at his home in Edinburgh, installed artificial turf and put up Celtic Football Club-branded goals. But Edinburgh Council told him "he was not given permission for the work, which is believed to have cost thousands of pounds, and was told to restore the garden to its original condition". The council said he "breached planning rules in a conservation area by altering the levels of the ground, building a wall around the garden and laying down the fake grass". The banker has "appealed to the Scottish Government to try to save the pitch, claiming it was 'just for fun' and the walls were designed to stop balls going into other properties".

Both The Daily Telegraph and the Times report on research on healthy town centres by the Royal Society for Public Health, which found you will live longer if your high street has a library and pharmacy. According to the Telegraph, residents of towns "with high streets full of bookmakers and off-licences tend to die earlier than those in areas with high street libraries and pharmacies", the research has claimed. The society's report claims that "unhealthy" high streets could be taking up to two and a half years off people's lives. Its ranking of 70 high streets named Grimsby as the unhealthiest town, followed by Walsall and Blackpool. "Accentuating a largely North-South divide in England excluding London, every 'unhealthy' high street was to be found either in the Midlands or in the North, whereas most of the 10 'healthy' ones were located in the South," the newspaper said. According to the Times, Edinburgh was at the top of the 'healthy' list, followed by Canterbury and Taunton. 

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