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In the papers today - Friday 1 February

The commercial property market suffered its worst quarterly performance at the end of last year as plummeting property values combined with falling rental growth.

With rents the key long-term driver of returns for property, the news will set alarm bells ringing in an industry where capital values are in freefall - The Financial Times

The phased abolition of an “anachronistic” tax allowance is set to cost BAA £5bn in lost relief, according to the airport operator, which attacked the change as retrospective and damaging to the stability of Britain’s tax system. The company has emerged as the biggest loser from the abolition of industrial buildings allowances, which is due to be implemented in this year’s finance bill - The Financial Times

The Government was criticised last night for its "ineffective" attempts to cut carbon emissions as figures showed they fell just 0.1% last year. The statistics for 2006 revealed a drop 0.5% for overall greenhouse gases, while CO2 - which is 85% of the UK's emissions - fell by 0.1% on 2005 - The Independent

Prince Charles locked horns with Lord Rogers and the architects of Britain's skyscraper boom yesterday, warning that historic cities are at risk of being wrecked by a "rash" of "carbuncles"in the form of office and apartment towers. In a speech backed by a slide show which highlighted Roger's proposed 44-storey "cheese grater" tower next to Lord Foster's so-called "gherkin" in the City of London, the prince complained that architects were indulging in a "free for all [that] will leave London and our other cities with a pock marked skyline" - The Guardian

Dennis Spurgeon, assistant secretary for nuclear energy in the US Department of Energy, is being considered as chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority by the Department for Business, The Times has learnt. The shortlisting of Mr Spurgeon comes as several large US companies seek to manage the NDA's reprocessing centre at Sellafield - The Times

Airlines that fly long distance routes and own the heaviest aircraft will be the biggest losers under aviation tax proposals announce by the Treasury yesterday. The government said it expects to phase out air passenger duty (APD) by November 2009 and replace it with a levy that charges individual aircraft by weight and distance travelled - The Guardian

The government is expected to approve the building of a coal fired power station without insisting that it tries to reduce its climate change emissions, according to emails seen by the Guardian. The correspondence,released under freedom of information legislation, apparently shows that civil servants caved in last month to pressure from German energy company Eon and agreed not to require "carbon capture and storage" technology as a condition for approval of the new Kingsnorth station on the Medway estuary in Kent - The Guardian

Satellite navigation devices have been blamed for a sharp rise in the number of railway bridges being hit by lorries. The number of bridge bashes has doubled over the last ten years, reaching more than 2000 a year according to Network Rail. Lorry drivers following sat navs on unfamiliar routes are often directed down narrow roads or routes with low bridges when the accidents occur. Motorists in smaller vehicles are also being guided onto railway tracks and level crossings . The problem has caused 5,000 hours of delays on the rail network, costing £10M a year - The Daily Telegraph

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