Diary: Planners heap pressure on Trump

It's been a tough few weeks for Donald Trump - and Scottish planners have added to the embattled US president's woes.

Donald Trump (pic: Getty)
Donald Trump (pic: Getty)

As an impeachment inquiry into the president’s dealings with Ukraine gathered pace, the real estate developer received a major knockback for his plans to build a housing development close to the Trump Turnberry golf resort on the Scottish west coast. Despite efforts to persuade South Ayrshire Council planners that land adjoining the resort should be allocated for housing, a recently published draft of the local authority’s revised local plan indicates the site in question will remain classified as agricultural land. A council spokesman confirmed the veracity of this particular piece of news.

Could you point to Babergh on a map? Council officers fear many would struggle. According to a candid report to be considered by the local authority later this month: "People are often unaware of where in the country Babergh is, let alone where in Suffolk, and struggle to pronounce the name of the council." Asking councillors to endorse a rebranding exercise, officers pointed to precedents set by neighbours earlier this year when local government reorganisation saw the number of Suffolk councils reduced from seven to five. "The former names of Forest Heath, St Edmundsbury, Waveney and Suffolk Coastal have all disappeared," they said. Rebranding as South Suffolk would align the council’s name with that of its parliamentary constituency, officers argued, while also noting another benefit – the new name "would clearly identify the location of the council".

A group of so-called ‘nimby nuns’ in Kent has received a planning inspector’s blessing. Housebuilder Bellway proposed a development of 65 homes next to St Mary’s Abbey in West Malling, only to provoke the ire of the abbey’s sisters. Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council sided with the nuns, prompting Bellway to appeal. Earlier this month, inspector Frances Mahoney backed the council and the nuns, advising that prayer and quiet contemplation were an essential part of life at the abbey. Amen to that.

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