Diary: Spooky appeal decision

As Halloween loomed last month, a spooky Scottish castle associated with Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula was appropriate subject matter for an appeal decision.

Reporter Timothy Ryan dismissed an appeal (DCS Number 400-020-102) by owner Mountwest 4 against the proposed grade B listing of New Slains Castle on Aberdeenshire’s Cruden Bay as a building of special architectural or historic interest. Ryan noted that Stoker often visited the bay from 1893 onwards. "It is believed that New Slains Castle was the inspiration for Dracula’s castle, which bears some resemblance to Slains," he reported.

The Essex resort of Jaywick has hit back at an image used in a US election candidate’s campaign material which locals claim smeared the village. Republican candidate Nick Stella had used an old image of Jaywick to highlight fears over economic deprivation. But Paul Honeywood, Tendring District Council’s cabinet member with special responsibility for Jaywick, said the ad was "appalling". Since the shot was taken, he said, Jaywick has had new roads and high-quality council homes "alongside approved plans for top-quality apartments overlooking the sea".

A Guernsey resident has hit on a novel way of challenging planning decisions: declaring independence. Steve Ogier took the step after the States of Guernsey warned that his proposal for a one-storey home in Castel parish would be refused due to non-compliance with countryside protection policies. Jim Rowles, Guernsey’s head of planning, told Diary that the authority sought an injunction to prevent the work, resulting in a court order, followed by compliance notices directed against excavation, a shed and a wall. Separately, the island’s deputy bailiff rejected Ogier’s independence bid, on the grounds that the site had no population.

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