Dubai ruler accused of 'cynical disregard' for UK planning laws

Reports that the ruler of Dubai has been accused of showing 'cynical disregard' for planning laws by erecting a two-metre high spiked metal fence around his Surrey estate feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription) reports that the row centres on a security fence that has gone up around Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum’s Longcross estate, allegedly without planning permission. The paper says that it is understood that Sheikh Mohammed intends to apply for retrospective planning permission.

The Guardian reports that "Brexit is battering the UK property market, pushing it to its weakest level in more than six years, with almost half of surveyors reporting that sellers and buyers are sitting tight because of political uncertainty". The paper says that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors "said its monthly indicators for demand, supply and prices fell to multiyear lows in November".

The Times reports that "buying a second home in Scotland is to become more expensive in a move that may dampen the buy-to-let property market". The paper says the Scottish government "is planning to increase the additional dwelling tax from 3 per cent of the purchase price to 4 per cent. The levy is part of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which replaced stamp duty in Scotland".

The Times reports that one of Africa’s last wilderness areas is at risk of "devastating and irreversible" damage from "a plan to dam the region’s biggest river and build a £2.4 billion hydroelectric power station". The paper says that "only 30 per cent of the population in Tanzania has access to electricity and the project in the heart of Selous Game Reserve, a Unesco World Heritage site, promises to double the country’s generating capacity".

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