Scottish government 'tells councils to refuse all fracking applications'

News that the Scottish government has formalised its ban on councils granting permission for any unconventional oil and gas project features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Scottish government yesterday formalised its ban on fracking, according to the Guardian. The paper says that the government’s chief planner has written to Scottish councils informing them that planning permission for any unconventional oil and gas project should now be refused. The direction will be underwritten in the next national planning framework, giving it statutory force, according to the paper. The ban builds on an informal moratorium first announced by the Scottish government in January 2015.

The Scotsman reports that US president Donald Trump has failed in a bid to reclassify land near his Turnberry golf resort for residential development. The paper says that Trump’s son Eric had overseen plans for a new housing development on land next to the facility and employed architects to try to get the land’s agricultural status changed. However, a spokeswoman for South Ayrshire Council told the paper: "Our planning department have advised that the sites were assessed against a range of environmental and planning criteria, alongside other alternative site submissions made in response to the main issues report consultation. It was concluded that they should not be recommended for release..."

Neighbours have objected to plans by the ruler of Dubai to build a hunting lodge on his Highland estate, according to the DailyTelegraph. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum hopes to build the six-bedroom lodge on his extensive land at Wester Ross, the paper says. However, one local was quoted as saying: "The Inverinate Estate is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and as such ought to be preserved not decimated by unnecessary building work."

A planning inspector has refused plans for a up to 65 homes next to a community of Benedictine nuns, according to the Telegraph. Housebuilder Bellway had been looking to build the homes on land opposite Malling Abbey in West Malling, Kent. Welcoming the refusal, the abbess, Mother Mary David, was quoted as saying the proposals presented a "dire" situation for the abbey, which was founded around 1090, and could have forced them to move.


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