Plus Eurostar's transfer to St Pancras and the impact of airport noise

Trust plan to foil builders on the green belt The National Trust is to consider buying Greenfield sites to protect them from the Government’s housebuilding policy, The Sunday Telegraph and the Times said. Sir William Proby, trust chairman, said it did not plan “wholesale purchases” but would intervene in planning inquiries and buy sites to protected them.

High-speed Eurostar will cross London – in 15 hours Eurostar is facing an unprecedented challenge to shift its entire operation across London in just 15 hours, reported The Daily Telegraph on Saturday. The paper said it would be the biggest move in the history of Britain’s rail industry. It will start around 8pm on November 13.

Heathrow noise ‘affects 2m people’ The number of people affected by airport noise has soared over the past new decades, according to a study for the Department of Transport. The Daily Telegraph reported the numbers affected around Heathrow have increased nearly tenfold.

Make fat people use the stairs, architects told Architects and town planners are to be recruited in the Government’s drive against obesity, said The Sunday Telegraph. Health watchdog The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has drawn up proposals for building designs, which will be sent to planning officers across the country in the next few days.

‘Cover-up’ over £35m asylum centres that were never built Botched plans to detain thousands of asylum seekers in the countryside have wasted £35m of taxpayers money, said The Sunday Telegraph. A report by the National Audit Office will reveal ministers spent £35m on a proposed centre for Bicester, Oxfordshire, which was never built - £10m more than initially thought. Three other centres were also axed.

Rail renewal plan boosts Jarvis

Railway maintenance company Jarvis was boosted yesterday as KBC Peel Hunt drew attention to Network Rail’s new business plan, reported the Financial Times. Jarvis rose 1.8 per cent to 87p after the plan, published on Thursday, revealed proposals to spend £11.4bn on renewing track, signals, structures and stations.

Property fears as bonuses squeezed

Estate agents fear the likely downturn in City bonuses this year will further reduce housing demand at a time when London’s property market is showing signs of stuttering, reported the Financial Times. Knight Frank, the property agent, reported 18 per cent fewer applications in October for properties of less than £2m than it did this time a year ago.

High-speed rail line set to be sold in auction

The UK’s first dedicated high-speed rail line from London to the Channel tunnel looks set to be sold in a government-run auction, reported the Financial Times. Rob Holden, chief executive of London and Continental Railways (LCR), said there was a “very clear case” for selling off the 110kn High Speed One link between London and the Channel tunnel. It would be part of a likely break-up of LCR.

National Trust turns from homes to save countryside

The head of the National Trust has announced a shift in its policy away from preserving stately homes and towards protecting the countryside from wholesale housing development, the Sunday Times wrote..

Fears spread on subprime impact

Shares in banks and brokerage firms continued their downward spiral yesterday as declines spread to groups not previously thought to have major exposure to troubled mortgages and related securities, reported the Financial Times. Shares in Morgan Stanley, which had thus far avoided the biggest writedowns, were off 5.64 per cent at close of trade and are down more than 11 per cent over the past two days.

City fears second bank is heading for credit crisis

Rumours circulated in the City that another bank had borrowed money from the Bank of England, according to the Guardian on Saturday. Investors’ jitters meant Barclays’ shares hit a two and a half year low.

Foster design to warm up winter for Kazakhs

Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, is to see the construction of a “mini-city” designed by Norman Foster, reports Saturday’s Guardian. The scheme will include an 88-storey office tower, a marketplace and a winter garden the size of a football pitch. The Abu Dhabi Plaza is “designed to look like a three dimensional bar chart” according to the paper.

Councillors vote against Tesco in Norfolk town

Plans for a Tesco store in Sheringham, Norfolk have been thrown out by local councillors, says Saturday’s Guardian. The decision is now to be reconsidered by a larger council planning committee in three weeks time.

Cities in last lap for Games gold

The Observer looks ahead to Friday’s decision on whether or not the 2014 Commonwealth Games will be held in Glasgow or Abuja.

Knives are sharpened for the battle of Smithfield

The public inquiry into the redevelopment of Smithfield Market begins on Tuesday, reports the Observer. On one side of the debate is architect Sir Terry Farrell, who wants the original buildings preserved; and on the other is developer Thornfield Properties, which wants to build a modernist block on the site, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

The worst crisis I’ve seen in 30 years

Will Hutton, Observer columnist and former economist, warns that the financial markets are “unravelling at bewildering speed”. He warns that the credit crunch may signal the end of the free market world view, and that government will have to draw up new forms of regulation and control.