Diary

For those of you who have visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa and marvelled at its iconic wonkiness, a project in Abu Dhabi is bidding to go four times further.

The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) is bidding to enter the Capital Gate building for The Guinness Book of Records as the "world's most inclined tower". It wants the building to lean 18 degrees, more than four times the incline of the Tuscan landmark.

RMJM, the project's architects, have submitted a joint application to Guinness to recognise the tower. Capital Gate is to accommodate the five-star Hyatt at Capital Centre hotel and office space.

ADNEC group chief executive officer Simon Horgan boasts: "Capital Gate will be a building that the world will talk about because of its aesthetic splendour and technical achievement." But Diary wonders what's so aesthetically splendid about a building that looks like a giant shoehorn.

A new book by construction industry organisation CIRIA looks at problems posed by a different breed of planning protester - the animal kingdom. It looks at issues raised by brown rats, pigeons, rabbits, deer, brown-tail moths and hornets among others.

The publication, to be launched at this month's Civils exhibition at Earl's Court, also investigates the threat of problem plants such as the notorious Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed.

The book explains legislation and policy guidance on managing such species and highlights those that could become tomorrow's invaders. These include the European hornet and the marsh frog, which already has a horny toehold in the South East.

Invasive Species Management for Infrastructure Managers and the Construction Industry is available from TSO, price £120.

South Somerset planners have been taking the brunt of outraged press coverage after a resident decided to flout planning regulations and paint her listed house.

Sheila New, who has lived in the cottage in Crewkerne for more than two years, hired local builders to paint its yellow front wall blue earlier this year. The parish council took a dim view.

Planning officials at South Somerset District Council agreed that the colour breaches planning regulations because the building has a grade II listing. They issued an enforcement notice demanding it be changed.

New unsuccessfully sought retrospective planning permission and appealed. But planning inspector Colin Ball found that the paint caused "considerable detriment". The cottage should be returned to an "earthy" colour in keeping with the other hamstone buildings in the town, he held.

New has three months to return the cottage to its original colour, failing which she could face legal action for failing to comply with the notice and face a fine of up to £1,000.

A South Somerset spokesperson said: "In some cases, you may get a bright purple house, but if this is what is historically correct for an area, this would be the colour range it had to stay in. For this area, however, it's a more beige, cream and gold setting that is historically correct."


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