In 2015, the publication of the Prince’s so-called 'black spider' letters revealed details of his behind-the-scenes lobbying on planning and housing policies. Now, The Times (subscription) reports that in a BBC interview to mark his 70th birthday, the prince has promised to change his ways and stop "meddling" when he becomes king.
The Times reports that "plans to build a new nuclear power plant in Cumbria have been abandoned, in a blow for the government’s energy strategy". The paper says that the "Japanese conglomerate Toshiba said that it had decided to wind up its Nugen subsidiary, which was developing the Moorside project, after failing to find a buyer". The Times adds that the "proposed multibillion-pound plant, neighbouring the Sellafield atomic waste site on the Cumbrian coast, was one of six new nuclear projects under development around Britain. Ministers have said that a series of new nuclear plants are needed to help to keep the lights on as old reactors and coal plants close but so far only one, at Hinkley Point in Somerset, has been given the go-ahead".
The Guardian reports that "a centuries-old church that counted George Eliot as a worshipper and survived a devastating night during the wartime blitz is one of 242 new entries to England’s Heritage at Risk register". The paper says the register "also now includes one of the oldest purpose-built museums in England, as well as Grimsby’s Kasbah area, and the church in Salford where the suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst married in 1879".
"Hundreds of staff who protect biodiversity and enforce environmental regulations in the UK have been redeployed to work on Brexit", The Guardian reports. The paper says that the "raid on staff from the Environment Agency, which is responsible for enforcing rules on recycling, air pollution and protecting the country from flooding, and Natural England, which protects habitats and species, has been condemned by MPs".
The Times reports that "one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious shopping streets would lose almost all its parking bays under plans to pedestrianise swathes of the city centre". The paper says that "under the plan, George Street — which is known for its shops and bars — would be closed to traffic and opened to street cafés, cyclists and pedestrians, similar to the famed Las Ramblas area of Barcelona".
The Financial Times (subscription) reports that "ministers are set to crack down on thousands of holiday-home owners in England who dodge council tax by registering as businesses". The paper says that "the loophole has become particularly contentious in areas such as Cornwall, Devon and the Lake District, which have a high proportion of second homes. The controversy involves owners of second homes falsely declaring that properties are available for let when — in reality — they are only using them for holidays".
The FT also reports that the "London restaurant scene has suffered its worst year for closures in decades as a rapid expansion turned to bust". The paper says that "about 117 independent restaurants closed in London in the 12 months to September 2018, 40 per cent more than last year and surpassing 2003’s peak of 113, according to Harden’s London Restaurants guide."