Diary: The Railway Children get militant

Protests against controversial plans are nothing new, but the reaction last month to proposals in Sevenoaks District Council's draft local plan to allocate green belt land for housing was certainly different.

Objectors from the Kent village of Halstead descended en masse to the council’s offices – dressed as characters from the classic children’s book, The Railway Children (pictured above). Edith Nesbit, who wrote the famous 1906 novel, lived in the village as a child and the area is said to have inspired the book’s setting. The protest clearly had some effect as, following the march, the council dropped eight of the 12 green belt sites from the emerging plan, saying it had listened carefully to residents.

The UK’s first-ever superhero training centre opened in east London last month having achieved planning permission faster than a speeding bullet. The Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N exhibition, which allows visitors to examine and try out the superheroes’ equipment, opened at ExCel London after temporary permission for the 1,500 square metre development was granted by the London Borough of Newham. Planning consultancy Pegasus Group said it worked with the council to achieve unanimous backing from the planning committee "in just under a month", with no obligations or pre-commencement conditions. Even Superman might struggle to move that quickly.

Finally, a mention of Boyer Planning’s London team’s efforts to mark Movember, the annual moustachegrowing men’s health fundraiser. No fewer than nine members of the team sprouted facial hair last month and raised £370 for the Movember Foundation. A Boyer spokeswoman said: "It was a fantastic effort. Despite the unusual looks, they maintained a great sense of humour over a challenging month."


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