Diary

Diary prides itself on its tea-making capabilities, so it really doesn't need to be told how to save the planet when it goes to make a brew.

The Envirowise programme is calling on office workers to be more resource-conscious and "think before they drink". The government-funded initiative is "dedicated to putting the sustainable use of resources at the heart of UK business practice".

A list of top tips for a best practice tea break compiled by its experts looks to cut staff time spent watching the kettle boil, reduce waste from heating kettles unnecessarily and encourage the use of energy-saving appliances.

Recommendations include appointing a tea task force or monitor, only boiling water you are going to need, using a teapot if you are making a round for colleagues and even bringing back the traditional tea urn to save on water.

"Even such often overlooked non-core business activities can go some way to cut down the 30.1 billion cups of water that are boiled for tea-making and subsequently wasted each year," says Envirowise director Mary Leonard.

But to Diary, wasting energy by sending out press releases from the department of the bleedin' obvious sounds a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

It appears that Heather Mills and Sir Paul McCartney had a lot more in common than being seriously rich.

The former Beatle's ex-wife has been carrying out further improvements to her country home at Robertsbridge in East Sussex following her £24.3 million divorce settlement earlier this year. But the animal rights activist neglected to acquire the necessary consent from planning officials to build a swimming pool in the estate grounds.

Now Mills is claiming that the pool could prove an asset to the area. Her agent David Bailey argues that the water could be used should a fire break out anywhere nearby. But she has been told she must apply for retrospective permission and if it's turned down she will have to fill in the pool.

Back in 2006, McCartney agreed to pull down a wooden lodge in the grounds of Woodlands Farm near Peasmarsh that had also been built without planning permission. But he was allowed to retain a wildlife viewing pavilion.

A road sign barring lorries from a route near an Asda store in south Wales has left Welsh-speaking drivers perplexed.

Officials asked Swansea City Council for the Welsh translation of "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only" to place at the junction of Pant-y-Blawd Road and Clase Road in Morriston.

By some inexplicable mishap, what they got was: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated." So that's what went up alongside the English version.

"We took it down as soon as we were made aware of it," a council spokeswoman explains. "A correct sign will be installed as soon as possible."

- Should you find any stories that might interest Diary, please email planning@haymarket.com.


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