Unesco speaks out against 20 Fenchurch Street
The proposed 'Walkie-Talkie' tower has been plunged into further doubt by a direct intervention by Unesco, the heritage wing of the United Nations, the weekend Financial Times reports. Unesco’s official advisor has urged the government to give the “highest possible protection” to the Tower of London, which is not far from the Walkie-Talkie site.
Merrill Lynch picks up 5% stake in Hammerson
The Times on Saturday reported that investment bank Merrill Lynch bought a 5% stake in Hammerson, reported making it the property group’s largest shareholder. Hammerson had been the subject of intense takeover speculation, with French firm Unibail the most likely bidder. Hammerson shares closed 55p up at £16.
Foster buys out employees prior to sale
The Sunday Telegraph reports that Lord Norman Foster has bought out an employee share trust just weeks before selling a stake in his architectural practice that could net him hundreds of millions of pounds.
Property revels in its Cannes do attitude
The paper also said that although the UK property market may be flagging there was a party mood at this year’s Mipim. Champagne flowed, parties went on well into the early hours and property agents Knight Frank even had a bouncy castle. But above all the event was, as ever, the place to be to network, scout for work and even do some deals. As one delegate said of the event: “It’s the unspeakable chasing the unmentionable. Ninety five per cent of us chasing the 5 per cent with the money.”
Games will not be new Dome, vows Jowell
The paper said that Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has promised that the mistakes made with the Millennium Dome will not be repeated in staging the 2012 Olympics. She defended the rising costs of the Games saying the original £2.4bn was just a ‘funding pitch’ and that the costs will not rise any more than the current figure of £9.3bn.
The goal that means Wembley is back at last
The paper reported on the first goal to be scored at the new Wembley stadium, by 44-year-old Mark Bright, a professional footballer-turned BBC sports presenter. The opening was also reported by the Observer, who reported one visitor saying “It’s fantastic, incredible, absolutely magnificent – an awe-inspiring place that will lift the fans and the players.” Stunning: verdict as new Wembley opens.
Prisoners to be put in cargo containers
Specially converted sea containers are set to be converted into temporary jails to ease the prison over-crowding crisis, The Observer reported on Sunday. The plan is to have the modules installed in five prisons by June at a cost of £3.5m each, the paper said. The government has also placed an order for two large-scale units comprising five containers bolted together and capable of holding 300 prisoners each. These units will require planning permission.