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NCE Live News Updates 29 May 2013: Thames hub would require town the size of Peterborough, report says

A report published by the Independent Transport Commission has suggested a hub airport in the Thames Estuary would require the creation of a town the same size as Peterborough to support it. Meanwhile energy secretary Edward Davey has called for stringent, EU-wide emissions targets, but also said that the government would oppose a renewable energy target across the EU.

Chapel House Reservoir

Chapel House: The reservoir supplies water to thousands of people in North Allerdale, Cumbria


3.30pm: ISG is to carry out a £52M refurbishment of the BBC World Service’s iconic former home in London.

The contractor will convert Bush House into prime office space.

The development – 28,000m2 across four buildings – will be renamed Aldwych Quarter.

ISG chief executive David Lawther said: “We are witnessing growing improvement in activity across the London fit out market and this latest win reinforces our position as the sector’s lead contractor.”


2pm: Geotechnical specialist Keller Geotechnique and contractor Story Contracting have completed refitting work on the Chapel House reservoir in Cumbria.

The £3M refit in Wigton, which took nine months to complete, was part of water provider United Utilities’ £3.5bn AMP5 investment programme.

The project included strengthening work to the dam and earth embankments, construction of a new wave wall and refurbishment of the masonry on the spillway channel.

“This is the first major work that’s been needed on the dam since it was built more than 110 years ago, so it’s a testament to those early engineers that they did their job so well,” said Keller project manager Jonathan Clarke.


1pm: Network Rail chief executive David Higgins was awarded a bonus of almost £100,000 in 2012/13, it has been revealed.

All five executive directors at the body were awarded 17 per cent of their salary as a bonus after complex performance-related calculations.

While they did not pick up any extra cash for train punctuality, they were rewarded for a passenger satisfaction increase and reaching milestones on projects.

Higgins earns £577,000 per year and picked up a further £99,082 in bonus.


11am: Works to transform the London 2012 Olympic stadium into a legacy venue have been approved.

The London Legacy Development Corporation’s planning decisions committee granted permission for the structure to be transformed into a 60,000-seater venue.

The revamped stadium will be used by West Ham United Football Club as well as hosting Rugby World Cup 2015 matches and the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Works, which include introducing retractable seating in the lower tier and an extended roof design, could start later this year.


10.30am: A town the size of Peterborough could be required to support a hub airport in the Thames Estuary, according to a report.

The Independent Transport Commission said homes, schools and infrastructure would be required to service a new four-runway airport.

Boris Johnson has called for a £40bn new hub airport in the Thames Estuary rather than an expansion of Heathrow to meet increasing demand for air travel.

But the ITC said in a new report: “Building a major new hub, whether at Stansted or elsewhere, could require urban development including homes, schools, and local transport.

“The ITC estimates the size of such development would be on the scale of a new Peterborough for a four-runway hub.”


10am: The Welsh Government has created a £10M development fund aimed at boosting the construction sector.

The Wales Property Development Fund, to be managed by Finance Wales, will provide up to £30M of finance over five years.

Welsh Economy Minister Edwina Hart said the fund was set up in response to a funding gap identified by Finance Wales, and would help kick-start development in smaller scale property ventures.

“Construction is one of our key sectors with the potential to make a significant impact on the economy,” she added.


9.30am: Energy secretary Edward Davey has called for stringent emissions targets across the EU.

He said decarbonisation of the EU economy was critical to tackling climate change – but opposed calls for a specific renewable energy target.

“We will argue for an EU-wide binding emissions reductions target of 50% by 2030 in the context of an ambitious global climate deal, and even a unilateral EU 40% target without a global deal,” said Davey.

But he added: “There are a variety of options to decarbonise any country’s economy. In the UK, our approach is technology neutral and our reforms will rely on the market and competition to determine the low carbon electricity mix. We will therefore oppose a renewable energy target at an EU level as inflexible and unnecessary.”


Readers' comments (1)

  • Barry Walton

    Is there something half-baked or selective in the Independent Transport Commission stated need for homes, schools and infrastructure wrt the Thames Estuary hub. If there is a need for increased capacity it will need to be serviced wherever it is created. Certainly Gatwick and Heathrow at present usage are poorly served by overloaded surface infrastructure

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