RIBA president 'resigns from role'

A report on the RIBA president resigning after only seven months in the role features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Alan Jones, has stepped back from his role over a "serious incident" that has been reported to the Charity Commission. Jones, elected president only seven months ago, emailed RIBA council members on Tuesday to say he could not carry on in the role because "a matter has arisen" in his personal life, the newspaper states. The RIBA subsequently filed a "serious incident report" to the charity watchdog in light of his resignation, although the details have not been disclosed.

The Daily Mail reports that the Queen "has won a battle with environmentalists to go green and build a hydroelectric turbine on her land". Her Majesty wanted to build a two-megawatt generator on the River Muick, which runs through her 50,000-acre Balmoral estate in Scotland, the newspaper states. But the plans were opposed by Aberdeenshire Council's environmental team on the grounds of noise. Consequently, the plans were 'called in' by the Cairngorms National Park Authority which then approved the plans. The hydro scheme will provide electricity to the Balmoral estate, according to the newspaper.

The Times reports that plans by American actor George Clooney to build an outdoor lavatory in the garden of his Oxfordshire mansion "have provoked a planning row with the local authority, which claims that it threatens a rare tree near by". Clooney, 58, and his wife Amal Clooney, a human rights lawyer, lodged plans for the extra lavatory at his 17th-century grade II listed mansion in Sonning Eye last month. But their proposal for a single-storey timber construction may be rejected after South Oxfordshire District Council’s forestry team said that it could damage the roots of a protected redwood.

The Times reports that high street retailers "suffered their worst fall in sales for at least 12 years in March". It says that figures from accountancy and business advisory firm BDO show that in-store sales "fell 34.1 per cent on March last year while in-store and non-store combined, which includes online, fell 17.9 per cent". This is "the worst monthly performance since the firm started tracking high street sales in 2008", the article adds.

The Daily Telegraph reports that London "has replaced New York as the most expensive city in the world for builders, a study of construction costs suggests".


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