Development pressures on national parks and a Scottish drive to encourage more women to become builders feature in this weekend’s newspapers.
In this weekend’s Observer an entire page is devoted to the worldwide threat to national parks and protected environmental areas as tourist developments, oil exploration, plantations, and transport links spread across the globe. The most pressing case in the UK is the Pembrokeshire coastline, where developers have been given the go-ahead to build an all-weather holiday village, with a snowdome and sewage works on the edge of the national park. A legal challenge to the Bluestone development goes to the High Court this month.
Elsewhere The Observer reports that the government plans to make it more straightforward for judges to imprison managers who commit serious health and safety offences in the draft corporate manslaughter bill. It would make directors of companies more accountable for breaches that occur at their firms.
While the Independent on Sunday weighs up the pros and cons of introducing a compulsory Home Information Pack, the Sunday Mirror reveals a new phenomena on site: the ‘brickette’. It reports that the Construction Industry Training Board is planning to launch a recruitment drive in Scotland to tempt more women into the building industry, after a survey showed that only 2% of new employees in construction in Scotland last year where women.
According to Monday’s Financial Times, work has finally started on the re-development of Battersea Power Station, 20 years after it was decommissioned. Parkview International has signed up tenants for almost 20% of the £1.1 billion scheme, and hopes to complete the work in 2008.
The FT also reports that the Freedom of Information Act, which becomes law on January 1, could cause difficulties for construction firms involved in PFI projects. The Act means that public authorities must provide data – which could include details of contracts tendered – to anyone that requests it within 20 days. Although confidential information may be exempt, authorities must reveal commercially sensitive data if it is in the public interest to do so.
Meanwhile new Jarvis chief executive Alan Lovell has been pressing the flesh with the business brains of Fleet Street this weekend, featuring in a long interview in Saturday’s Independent, and again in the Sunday Telegraph.