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Civil engineering in the papers Tuesday 14 October

The Conservative party told BAA to abandon a £160M planning application for a second runway at Stansted airport yesterday after warning that the project would be scrapped by a Tory government...

...Theresa Villiers, shadow transport secretary, also warned any firm considering working on the proposed third runway at Heathrow to be "very, very careful" about signing contracts - The Guardian

A tiny sap-sucking insect from Japan could be introduced to the British countryside next summer to bring our most invasive plant under control. The 2mm insect, Aphalara itadori, is a type of psyllid - jumping plant lice - that eats Japanese Knotweed in its homeland and has been put forward as a biological solution to curbing the spread of the plant in Britain - The Times

As financials, miners, utilities and oil stocks all surged amid relief that a bank rescue plan had been agreed, the tumbleweed was left blowing across an unloved property sector. HBOS and Lloyds TSB were two of Britain's biggest lenders to property developers and Credit Suisse estimates that the state-controlled beast created from their merger will hold 26% of all outstanding UK commercial property loans. Meanwhile £100bn of property loans are due for refinancing by the end of 2010 - The Times

Stocks tied to construction have not fared well as the economic downturn has taken hold, so all the more reason for shareholders in Rok to cheer a five-year framework agreement with BAA, the Spanish-owned airport operator. The contract will give Rok work on a number of building improvement contracts valued at between £2M and £20M - The Times

China is planning to build a string of new dams in southern Tibet to boost its electricity supply, the region's chief of water resources told the Guardian. Hundreds of millions of people across Asia depend on rivers that originate in Tibet, and previous hydroelectric proposals have proved controversial because of their impact on the environment, local people and communities downstream - The Guardian

The government must allow companies to build offshore wind farms much closer to shore, as part of a series of measures to revitalise a sector that has almost stalled due to insufficient support, competitive pressures and rising costs, an authoritative report warns today. "Without urgent action there is a risk that little additional offshore wind power will be built by 2020 beyond the eight gigawatts already planned or in operation," says the report from the Carbon Trust, an organisation established by the government to help build a greener future - The Guardian

The number of teenagers studying the Government's new diploma qualifications has slumped to less than a quarter of the original estimate. Ministers said only 12,000 young people started courses last month - the first time they have been offered in schools and colleges – The Daily Telegraph

Street lights in suburban areas are to be switched off after midnight as part of council plans to save energy. A series of trial blackouts will be carried out over the next few weeks by local authorities in the Home Counties, Hampshire and Essex among others – The Daily Telegraph

Andrew Adonis, the former academies minister, rebuffed attempts by Ed Balls, the schools secretary, to persuade him to stay. Mr Balls, who was Lord Adonis's boss, said yesterday the peer became transport minister in this month's cabinet reshuffle because "academies were...so successful, he wants to move onto a new challenge" - Financial Times

Toscafund Asset Management, the London hedge fund planning a restructuring after big losses this year, has sold its 10% stake in Taylor Wimpey, the country's biggest housebuilder. Tosca, run by Tiger Management alumnus Martin Hughes, sold the stake as it slims down to focus on its best positions. Taylor Wimpey shares have tumbled 90% this year and closed down 14.5%, or 3p, to 17¾p on Monday - Financial Times

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