News of a possible extention to the proposed Crossrail scheme and the latest on the proposed takeover of building supplies group Novar.
This weekend’s Observer pre-empts this week’s launch of Superlink, the proposed rail line that would link areas east, west and north of London. The scheme, which far exceeds the Crossrail one in its scope and ambition, will be unveiled on Wednesday by John Prideaux, the man credited with rescuing the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that Novar, the building supplies group, is in an advanced talks to be bought out for more than £750 million, saving it from a hostile take-over bid by investment company Melrose. The Telegraph suggests that Siemens and General Electric are the leading contenders for a “white knight” take-over.
Meanwhile in an opinion piece in the Independent on Sunday, Clayton Hirst asks readers to put aside their idealogical objections to private companies involvement in the public sector through PFI, and says that making a profit from such schemes can be good for everyone in the longer term. In a slightly less philosophical vein, the paper also reports on a large-scale arson attack on a property development in Washington, where 26 homes were damaged or destroyed. Of those who may have had objections to this particular piece of urban sprawl, environmental terrorists, are top of the lists of suspects.
Developers in Scotland are having difficulties of a different sort. According to a report in Scotland on Sunday, market saturation has led to buyers who had put down deposits on properties in a prestigious new development are refusing to buy the flats. Cala Homes, one of three builders at the Glasgow Harbour development, is suing customers who try to back out of the deals, worth £190,000 to £800,000.