The Times reports that airlines claim BAA's cost estimate is unrealistic. Plus the rest of the weekend's news.
The Financial Times this weekend reports on BAA’s £2.7bn expansion of London Stansted Airport. The proposal includes tripling the present capacity of London’s third airport to about 76 million passengers a year, more than the current size of Heathrow, the paper reports. The plan, which includes a second runway and a second terminal building, is opposed by airlines, local authorities, environmental groups and resident groups.
Saturday’s Times also reports on the Stansted plans, saying airlines have attacked a revised cost estimate for a second runway at Stansted airport, claiming that operator BAA has not taken account of hidden charges. BAA claims that the first phase of the development will cost £1.7bn, with the second phase costing a further £1bn. This beats government estimates of £3.7bn, but Ryanair and EasyJet have attacked the plans, claiming the cost will be closer to £4bn.
In financial news, The Sunday Times reports that utility company AWG is to sell Morrison, the troubled construction business at the centre of a £130m legal battle. AWG is currently suing Sir Fraser Morrison, the construction firm’s former chairman, and former operations director Stephen McBrierty for £130m.
Back at the FT, Roger Lewis, chairman of the Berkley Group, told the paper he was not concerned about Gordon Brown’s policy U-turn on putting residential property into personal pensions. Berkley was named by analysts last week as one of the companies expected to be hit hardest by the chancellor’s change in direction over pensions. Lewis told the FT he knew of only one person who had cancelled their purchase.
The top energy official at the DTI is leaving her post, The Observer said on Sunday. The move comes amid rumours she is being shifted because she is viewed as being too pro-nuclear to head the government’s energy review, the paper said. Joan MacNaughton, director general of energy at the DTI will be replaced early in the new year.
Cumbernauld Town Shopping Centre has been voted Britain’s most hated building in a Channel 4 poll for the Demolition programme. The 1960s development topped a list that included the Scottish parliament, voted the eighth worst building.