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Two people have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a Victorian pier was severely damaged by fire, police have said.

The blaze, which was reported at around 1am on Tuesday, destroyed 95% of Hastings pier, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said.

Most cultures of the world seem to all have a similar tale of a mythic flood that all but wiped out the civilizations of the time. This flood of yore, of fame was so huge and devastating that it all but annihilated civilization.

Indeed many times archaeologists – many of them famous and of great repute have thought that they in their diggings and studies had actually uncovered as well as documented actual proof and direct evidence of the giant flood which we in the “Western World” know and refer to a “Noah’s Flood” of biblical fame and origins.


London loft conversions are an increasingly popular way for homeowners to expand the useable space within their house without going through all of the hassle and expense of moving. Planning law in England changed significantly on 1 October 2008 with 'The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No. 2) (England) Order 2008' coming into force. How does this new law change the situation for London loft conversions and does it mean that I do not need planning permission?

The idea behind the changes to the planning laws was to reduce the pressure on local planning departments by allowing many domestic extension projects to proceed under 'permitted development' rather than having to apply for planning permission. This means that certain types of work, such as many loft conversions and extensions, do not require planning permission. To understand how the law has changed, it is necessary to briefly examine the position prior to 1 October 2008.

The previous legislation governing permitted development for London loft conversions was the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. This established a system of allowing homeowners to develop their property by a certain volume depending on the type of house. For instance, a terrace house could usually develop by up to 50 cubic metres (40 of which could be used for a mansard or dormer loft conversion) and a semi-detached or detached house by 70 cubic metres (50 of which could be used for a dormer or mansard loft conversion). This effectively meant that any house with an existing large ground floor extension would have already used most of its permitted development volume and could not undertake a loft conversion in London.

The most significant change brought in by the 2008 Order affects extensions at ground level. The system has now been changed from one of volume to one governed by maximum dimensions depending upon the location and number of storeys. For instance, a single storey extension to the rear of a terrace house can be a maximum of 3 metres deep from the original rear wall.

This means that ground level extensions completed prior to 1 October 2008 which fall within what would now be considered the maximum dimensions do not affect the volume that can be used for London loft conversions. It is possible to use up to 40 cubic metres in a terrace house and 50 cubic metres in detached and semi-detached houses for a loft conversion, whilst also having a large ground level extension.

More restrictive limits apply to conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, National Parks etc. Limits may also have been applied by the local authority to individual properties, such as properties of historical merit, or areas by means including planning conditions and Article 4 directions.

In general it is strongly advisable to submit an application for a 'Certificate of Lawfulness' before starting any work, even if you believe that it clearly falls within your permitted development rights. Local Authorities often have quite different interpretations of what London loft conversions are permitted under the new legislation. A certificate of lawfulness is a straightforward application that only costs £75 and gives you the peace of mind that what you are proposing is lawful and does not exceed your permitted development rights.

This article is a brief summary of the law specifically relating to extensions and permitted development in England and should not be relied upon as a complete statement of the law. To understand your rights and obligations fully, study the relevant law or consult a planning solicitor. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice.

James Gold is a director of Landmark Lofts, one of London's leading loft conversion specialists. Landmark Lofts undertake London loft conversions throughout the city and offer a full design, build and management service using their in-house team of Architects, Chartered Building Surveyors, and Chartered Builders.



Greedy insurance companies are taking money from the pension pots of women who are retiring at the state pension age of 60.

In the 1980s a large amount of personal pensions were sold to women. This allowed insurers to cut the value of their savings if they retired before their 65th birthday, even though retirement age for women is 60.


Bankers and other people who have lost their jobs in the recession will be able to qualify as teachers in just six months and the best people fast-tracked for headships under government plans announced on Tuesday.


The government have announced recommendations for a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham, at an estimated cost of £15.8 - £17.4 billion, with a future proposal of a two route extension on the east and west which will link to existing lines at Manchester and Leeds, providing a direct service to Glasgow and Edinburgh. These two route extensions are currently estimated to cost a further £12.6 - £14.2billion. These new links will be capable of carrying trains at speeds of up to 250mph.




The resurgence of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the designs by William Morris during the late Victorian period saw an interest re emerge in tapestry and their designs. With most of the European workshops in decline following the French Revolution and an increasing awareness of the craft a British Tapestry House was established in 1876 by two Frenchmen, Marcel Brignolas and Henri C. J. Henry. Royal Windsor was one of two tapestry houses to be established in nineteenth century England, the other was William Morris’s Merton Abbey.


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited Britain's capital in a fact-finding mission Tuesday in the wake of the thwarted Times Square bombing, visiting centers where experts monitor a vast network of security cameras — one of the largest in the world.

Bloomberg wants to ramp up the security camera network in New York City's subways to mimic that in London's underground train system. London authorities say the city's train stations are watched by more than 12,000 cameras, and in a few years they aim to install a few thousand more. Officials say the additions would mean every person's face would be recorded when they enter the subway system.


Yoga provides a holistic approach to manage stress. It combines several stress management techniques such as breathing, meditation in addition to hatha yoga.

Stress is the byproduct of the present day competitive work environment and unhealthy life style.

A little bit of stress can be productive, and helps to perform better, however, too much stress over a prolonged period can be unhealthy for the mind and body.

Everyone reacts differently to stress depending upon the skills they have to handle the situation and how they perceive that particular stressful situation.



London gives more emphasis on their historic and ancient culture. These are national tourist attractions visited by millions of tourists yearly. London has many hotels, some luxurious and some simple, catering to all social classes.

London is a city bountiful of scenic views. The architectural glory of the magnificent Buckingham Palace can be seen here. The Cathedral of St. Paul, the Tower of London and the Westminster Abbey are all found in London also. The Royal Botanical Garden and other botanical gardens surround the area.