National Trust 'withdraws objections to fracking surveys'

A report that the National Trust has withdrawn its legal opposition to 'seismic surveying' at one of its site's in Nottinghamshire 'but has vowed to fight to protect the site from fracking' features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that energy firm Ineos won the right earlier this year "to pursue a high court action to gain access to the Grade I-registered Clumber Park country park in Nottinghamshire for surveying, as part of efforts to assess the area for shale gas". The National Trust had opposed the the plan, the paper says, but has now withdrawn its opposition after "extensive legal efforts and carefully considering all the evidence available". But the paper says the charity "warned that it remained completely opposed to fracking at Clumber Park". The charity said "the case showed how difficult it was to protect sites of special significance from applications by oil and gas companies hoping to search for shale gas", the paper adds.

The Guardian also reports that the charity behind London’s failed garden bridge project "faces being sued by wealthy donors who fear their money might not be returned even after the much-criticised scheme collapsed, with a loss to taxpayers of almost £50m". The paper says that one individual donor claimed the money he gave to the Garden Bridge Trust had been "pissed down the drain by a bunch of incompetents", and that he wanted it returned.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has said that "house prices will stagnate in 2019 and the number of sales fall as a mixture of Brexit and affordability constraints takes its toll on the property market", the Guardian reports. The paper says that RICS "said it expected the number of house sales to fall back by 5% to around 1.15m compared with 2018. The number of sales will remain sharply below the 1.7m that changed hands in the peak year of 2006".

The Times (subscription) reports that "a property developer who demolished a historic modernist house in San Francisco without permission has been ordered to build a replica and put up a plaque explaining what he had done". The paper says that "Largent House, in Twin Peaks, was built in 1936 by the Austrian architect Richard Neutra. He is considered one of the most eminent modernist developers of his time and built only five homes in San Francisco".

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