If Heathrow Terminal 2 ceases to exist, what happens to Terminals 3, 4 and 5? And if the BBC believes Lord Digby Jones to be a lager-swilling teenager, does it make it so?
The Don mafia
Good to see that the communities department is keeping it in the community. In Housing minister Caroline Flint’s announcement that a Code for Sustainable Homes rating would be required for all new homes from 1 May, a supporting quote is included from one Bramall Construction, which has “built homes to code level four”. Who they, you may well ask. Well, Bramall is owned by Doncaster-based regeneration group Keepmoat. And who do you imagine is the MP for Doncaster South? Step forward, Caroline Flint.
No, I’m Lord Digby Jones!
Lord Jones of Birmingham (that’s Digby to his friends) tells me how he was almost usurped from his role as minister for trade and investment before he’d even started. Apparently, shortly after his appointment, BBC radio sent a taxi to pick him up at 5am for an interview. Not wanting to wake his wife, the former director of the CBI said he would be happy to meet the car outside. After a long wait, a limo pulled up to Jones’ doorstep and deposited a youth swigging from a can of lager and talking to a friend on his mobile. “And the best bit is they think I’m someone called Lord Digby Jones!” he laughed.
T2B or just no T2, that is the question
Now that Heathrow Terminal 5 is open, BAA and its troubled Spanish owner Ferrovial can turn their attention to their next megaproject. A source tells me that the most pressing thing occupying Spanish minds is what to do once the £1.5bn Heathrow East scheme gets under way. It will replace Terminal 2 and the Queen’s Building, the two oldest parts of the airport. But once T2 goes, the numbers that identify the terminals will be out of kilter; there will be a T1, T3, T4 and T5, but no T2. Before panic grips the nation, BAA has hit upon a solution. The £350m Midfield Pier to one side of Heathrow East will henceforth be known as T2B. Phew.
End of the line
So long, then, to an old friend that has kept me in tittletattle for a good few years: Metronet’s Trans4m Construction Partnership. A mole tells me Trans4m’s 100-odd staff have now transferred to Metronet’s new owner, London Underground, and Trans4m will shortly be wound up. A sorry end for a business that brought together some of the industry’s finest – Balfour Beatty, Atkins and EDF – and set out to refurbish 150 tube stations over seven years before its parent, Metronet, went bust last year with debts of £1.7bn.
Chew on this one
It seems a mere credit crunch is no longer sufficiently apocalyptic for some. After the Bear Stearns rescue last week, law firm Eversheds coined the phrase “son of credit crunch”, in a bid to evoke a suitable sense of terror over the turmoil. Thankfully, if it all gets too much, we have the London Property Forum to turn to. The organisation is billing a forthcoming markets discussion as “the really crunchy credit crunch conference”. Now there’s branding Kelloggs would be proud of.
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