Also in this weekend's papers: Sellafield demolished while Scottish wave power plant gets go-ahead
Northern Rock crisis sees consumer confidence fall
The Guardian reported that Gordon Brown’s aims for an autumn election contains another twist, as the Northern Rock crisis sees consumer confidence decrease. Statistics show that consumers are pessimistic about the economy. The results of this survey, the Guardian believes, will intensify the debate for a November election in the Labour camp, as an unstable financial market make for a risky campaign.
Mortgage increases for poor homeowners
Over the coming months the credit crunch is believed to be passed onto consumers, with mortgage costs for Britain’s poorest homeowners expected to rise as much as 60% over the next few months, said the Guardian.
Chinese multinational corporations involved in Burma
China has become involved in key Burmese sectors such as natural gas, hydropower, minerals, wood, fisheries, and food produce it has been recorded in the Guardian, in a report about a border town in China’s Yunnan province. The Burma project has recorded 26 Chinese multinational corporations involved in 62 hydropower, oil and gas, and mining projects in Burma.
High Speed 1: the country’s first dedicated high-speed railway
The Observer reported how Britain has pushed engineering science to its limits, with High Speed 1. The high-speed railway will begin at St Pancras London and run to the Channel Tunnel at speeds of up to 185mph. The project cost £35.8bn and has been constructed over 11 years, removing 530 million cubic feet of earth from 37 miles of tunnels through east London and Kent.
The world’s first industrial-scale nuclear power station has been demolished
The Observer reported how four cooling towers in Sellafield have been demolished as part of the plan to decommission the Sellafield complex, comprising of 62 buildings.
Spanish utility company to build wave plant off the Scottish coast
Spanish utility company Iberdrola has been given the go-ahead to build the world’s biggest wave power plant off the coast of Scotland, according to The Independent on Saturday. It said the €14m (£9.8) plant off the Orkney Islands was set to go online in 2009 after approval was given by the Scottish Parliament.
For sale: pioneering site, may be contaminated by radiation
The Independent reported on Saturday that plans were being put forward to turn the Dounreay nuclear power plant in Scotland into a luxury hotel complex, an eco resort, and a sculpture. But it said the £2.9bn decommissioning process was expected to take up to 25 years.
Overseas holiday homes to fall in values as properties flood the market
British owners of homes in Spain and Eastern Europe could see the value of their investments fall as a result of the credit crunch said The Independent on Sunday. It reported professor of real estate at Reading University Michael Ball as saying a glut of properties coming onto the market could force prices down.
The towns where half of new homes are being built on ‘beautiful’ gardens
As much as 80% of new homes are being built by demolishing existing houses and eating into gardens, said the Sunday Telegraph. It reported that developments disguised as “brownfield” sites accounted for more than half of all new houses in 28 council areas in England.
Hedge funds bet on fall in house prices
The Sunday Telegraph reported that hedge funds are gambling on a fall in Britain’s housing market with aggressive short selling of shares in housebuilders, developers and landlords. It said big bets had been placed on shares in Persimmon, Britain’s biggest housebuilder, taking a dive.
London 2012 steels itself for higher building costs
The Sunday Telegraph said the booming Chinese economy is forcing up the prices of construction materials, putting strain on the industry just as it is preparing to start building work for the 2012 Olympics.
Last-ditch offer to keep Crossrail on track
The government has offered businesses in the city a £7m-£10m annual rate subsidy to encourage a last-ditch funding deal for Crossrail, reported the Sunday Telegraph.
High-flyer crashes down to earth
The Sunday Times said struggling property services firm Erinaceous was on its knees at the weekend following a drop in its value of almost four-fifths and the ousting of its chief executive Neil Bellis.
Tchenguiz plans bid for Erinaceous
Entrepreneur Vincent Tchenguiz is working on plans for a possible break-up of Erinaceous, said the Sunday Telegraph. It reported that a number of informal approaches had been made to the property services group following its announcement of a strategic review on Thursday.
The rushing tide of change that divides Britain’s conservationists
The Times reported on Saturday that Britain’s conservationists are fiercely divided over the proposed barrage across the river Severn. Supporters say the hydroelectric barrier could provide at least 5% of Britain’s energy needs while opponents fear it would wreck a crucial ecosystem, the paper reported.
Thames Water fined £12m for poor service
Thames Water is to appeal against a £12.5m fine for failing to compensate customers for poor service and loss of water supplies on the grounds it will divert cash from essential repairs, The Times reported on Saturday.
Labour says anyone who opposes one of its housing schemes is a Nimby. So why are six ministers fighting developers?
The Sunday Express reported that six Labour ministers are opposed to housing schemes in their constituencies just days after Yvette Cooper launched an attack on campaigners who protest about local housing developments.
Ministers pay £450,000 to flatten terraced home
The government has paid £450,000 for an end-of-terrace house in Manchester to make way for a modern housing development, said the Sunday Times. It said the purchase price was an example of how the government housing regeneration scheme was being undermined by rising house prices.
Virus lab ‘ignored warning of leak’
The Sunday Times reported that managers at the Pirbright laboratories were warned that their ageing drainage system was a bio-disaster waiting to happen 15 months before the complex was identified as the source of the current foot and mouth outbreak.