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Old October 18th, 2012, 07:13 PM   #4761
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A new £130 million London to Oxford rail link is to be built, with trains running by 2015.

Chiltern Railways said it had been given the green light by the Government to start work on the line.

As part of the project, Chiltern will build a new station at Bicester as well as a new parkway station at Water Eaton north of Oxford.

Chiltern's business development director, Graham Cross, said: "We are pleased to have been granted the power to proceed with this significant railway investment, which will benefit thousands of commuters and businesses in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

"The Oxford to London link is the latest in a long line of innovative Chiltern-led projects to upgrade the rail infrastructure, fuelled by our understanding of rail's potential to make a significant contribution to economic growth and prosperity."

Chiltern made it clear that the new link will only involve 0.5 miles (0.8km) of new track.

Also, the work at Bicester will involve the redevelopment of the existing Bicester Town station.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...t-8216698.html
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Old October 18th, 2012, 07:17 PM   #4762
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david Cameron has hailed a new £350 million construction project in the heart of London as proof that the coalition's crackdown on planning red tape is working.
The Prime Minister said the go-ahead for two major buildings in Victoria would support 2,500 jobs and help get the economy moving.
The announcement came as the Government introduced the Growth and Infrastructure Bill to Parliament.
Ministers claim the package will unlock billions of pounds worth of investment in energy schemes, by easing bureaucratic burdens on developers and employers.

Mr Cameron welcomed the move by Land Securities to start construction on offices and luxury flats at the Kingsgate House site in Victoria.
The British firm decided to go ahead after legislation was changed this week to prevent a planning levy for local infrastructure being double-charged - adding significantly to costs.
"The Bill we are publishing today is all about helping our country compete in the global race and building an aspiration nation where we back those who want to get on life," the premier said.
"We are slashing unnecessary bureaucracy, giving business the confidence to invest, unlocking big infrastructure projects and supporting hard working people to realise their dreams.
"Already the changes we are making to the planning system are having an impact, with Land Securities giving the go-ahead to a major multimillion-pound investment, supporting thousands of jobs in our construction industry."
Land Securities chief executive Robert Noel said: "It is heartening to know that Government has listened to the industry and acted to remove some of the uncertainty in the planning process."

http://www.harrowobserver.co.uk/west...6451-32054391/
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Old October 18th, 2012, 07:29 PM   #4763
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Morgan Sindall starts on £30m Chancery Lane office block

Developer Derwent London has awarded Morgan Sindall a £30m contract to build a commercial development on London’s Chancery Lane.


The project includes the demolition of the existing buildings at 40-45 Chancery Lane and the design and construction of a seven-storey office building that will provide 102,000 sq ft net of office space with retail at ground floor.

Work has already started on site to demolish the existing buildings and retain one façade and the development is due to be completed in September 2014.

The development has been designed by architects Bennetts Associatesto incorporate the existing building at Tooks Court around a central courtyard that will be accessible to the public during the day.

Materials for the development will be sustainably sourced, the contractor said, and the building will incorporate a number of features such as green roofs, fair faced concrete, chilled plasterboard ceilings, low energy lighting and presence detection. It is on track to achieve a BREEM Excellent rating.

Peter Jacobs, managing director of Morgan Sindall’s London office, said: “We are very pleased to have been appointed to this ambitious, distinctive scheme by Derwent London, which will deliver flexible Grade A office space in the centre of London’s legal district.

“Our London team has a particular focus on high-quality, sustainable office space and is well versed in delivering projects which blend historic features with state of the art, contemporary workplace environments.”

The project team includes quantity surveyor Davis Langdon, services engineer Arup, structural engineer AKTII and architects Bennetts Associates.

http://www.theconstructionindex.co.u...e-office-block
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Old October 18th, 2012, 07:36 PM   #4764
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It looks so huge.

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Old October 18th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #4765
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The Place

by cybertect.

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Old October 18th, 2012, 09:50 PM   #4766
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Foreign money seeks London property

The flow of foreign money seeking a home in London’s commercial property market means the capital now accounts for a third of total European investment transactions, new figures reveal.

Investors have spent almost £30bn buying UK offices, shopping centres and distribution warehouses in 2012, according to data from CBRE, the property services group. The extent of London’s dominance is shown by the capital accounting for roughly three-quarters of UK transactions by value, more than the total for any other European country.

The £7.3bn of deals recorded in London in the three months to the end of October represented almost a third of all transactions across the continent, CBRE said, as more foreign investors regard the capital as a haven for their cash.

This surge of activity means that London deals struck so far in 2012 are already 15 per cent ahead of the total transacted for the whole of last year. Property experts argue this means it more logical to compare London with other capital markets, rather than other global real estate markets.

“Investors are searching for an alternative to the traditional bond market and London real estate is an attractive and viable proposition,” said Matthew Richards, director of international capital at Jones Lang LaSalle, the property services group.

Investment yields of about 5 per cent compared attractively with the bond market, and London’s relatively high levels of liquidity made the capital “a magnet for international investors”, he added.

Buyers from across the globe have poured billions of pounds into London during the financial crisis in the hope of finding a secure, long-term investment. The type of deals, typically large office buildings with long leases, have reflected this appetite for stable returns rather than capital appreciation.

Jonathan Hull, head of European capital markets at CBRE, said: “International buyers have been dominant over the last twelve months and it is fair to say that they are making the market for major central London offices. What clearly shows through is the focus of investors on prime property and risk avoidance”.

However, traditional investors from continental Europe, the US and the Middle East are being pushed hard by a deal-hungry new entrant: Malaysia.

The southeast Asian country has been behind so many high value transactions in the City of London and West End during 2012, Jones Lang LaSalle estimates it accounts for more than 10 per cent of the market this year. Malaysia’s largest pension fund, Employees Provident Fund, is also behind an ambitious £8bn plan to redevelop Battersea Power Station.

The strength of investment demand in London is causing a rapid divergence between the capital and the rest of the country. Yields on prime commercial property in London are 4 per cent in the West End and 5 per cent in the City, compared with 6.2 per cent for the rest of the UK.

Outside London, the market has been propped up by a handful of international investors.

The largest regional UK deal during the third quarter was Norges acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Meadowhall, the £1.5bn Sheffield shopping centre. Other non-London deals this year, such as Blackstone’s £204m purchase of a portfolio of 17 logistics warehouses, might appear less glamorous, but have targeted properties with well financed tenants, such as supermarkets.

However, without the same depth of international demand to underpin it, many investors shun the market outside of London as not being worth the risk.
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/6e206...#axzz29g617dbf
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Old October 18th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #4767
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Wilkinson Eyre Pen New Finsbury Circus Offices

River Plate House on Finsbury Circus is due to get a complete overhaul if plans designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects get the go-ahead.

The proposals feature the complete demolition of the current 80s building that occupies the site and only the retention of the façade that fronts onto South Place which dates from the 1920s. In its place will be constructed a new office building with 9 floors of accommodation plus ground and plant floors. There will also be two basement floors, with the option of the lower ground floor being utilised for retail if needs be. A further two retail units are planned to sit opposite South Place.

To blend the building in with the existing ones that stand on Finsbury Circus Wilkinson Eyre has designed a curving Portland stone façade with strong vertical lines that hint at columsn. This is followed by a mansard roof, a nod at the style of architecture that dominates the immediate area.

Driving the project is a desire to maximise the return of the current building, thus Wilksinon Eyre has designed highly efficient floorplates that are completely column free giving an increase of 3,695 square metres. In turn the rebuilding also allows the creation of offices with higher floor to ceiling heights - here River Plate House will boast 2.75 metres per floor.

Mindful of the desire to keep the height of the building down along Finsbury Circus the core is located in the centre of the building. This allows for the plant floor to be directly above it but set back from the boundary of the building reducing the apparent height from the street.

In attempt to circumvent the height limits of that cut through the site, there will be a set back on the 8th floor that allows for the creation of a new roof terrace behind the mansard roof. This will provide 218 square metres of outdoor space overlooking Finsbury Circus for tenants to enjoy.
http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=3169
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Old October 18th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #4768
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South Place Hotel / Allies and Morrison

Architects: Allies and Morrison
Location: London, UK
Interior Design: Conran + Partners
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Guy Montagu-Pollack










http://www.archdaily.com/282018/sout...-and-morrison/
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Old October 19th, 2012, 12:35 AM   #4769
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It blends well with its neighbour.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 12:44 AM   #4770
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I agree! I just noticed this very second that it does blend well with its neighbor. But it's so last century.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #4771
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St Botolph's House by Nicholas Grimshaw

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=466310
Rob, cheers ... I feel a bit guilty, I was only trying to get someone to say, 'a replacement for the M ...'
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Old October 19th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #4772
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HCM City, London team up for financial area project

Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Commitee Le Minh Tri made the statement at a reception for Alderman David Wootton, Lord Mayor of the City of London, a global financial hub in the UK, on September 25.

Tri expressed his hope that London and UK businesses will provide support in human resources training, mechanism and policymaking, and project management for the city. Additionally, the UK’s experience in carrying out public-private partnership projects will be very useful for HCM City, he said.

At present, UK businesses are investing in 94 projects worth over US$700 million in the city.
Wootton said the UK is ready to provide support for the financial area construction, and will call on the leading UK businesses to share their experience in finance and law to carry out the project.

The two sides also agreed to host a dialogue between UK investors and the municipal authorities in the coming time.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 04:39 PM   #4773
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Construction sites in the UK will be open to the public in November as part of a project aimed at showcasing the industry.
Ninety-one sites across England, Scotland and Wales will be open for guided tours on 9 and 10 November as part of a pilot project called Open Doors.

Open Doors is aimed at showing construction in an engaging and interesting way, showcasing the careers available, and demonstrating the importance of the industry, organisers said.

Twenty-three major construction firms are taking part in the pilot, and sites to check out include the Olympics Aquatic Centre by Balfour Beatty, Tate Modern extension by Mace, Skanska’s Brent Civic Centre in North London, Leeds Arena by BAM and Carillion’s Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

The scheme is the result of a partnership of four leading industry bodies – UK Contractors Group (UKCG), CITB-ConstructionSkills, The Considerate Constructors Scheme and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Stephen Ratcliffe, director of UK Contractors Group, said: “Construction is undergoing rapid change and needs to develop a skilled workforce to meet the challenges it faces. Nowadays construction is more about careers than jobs and the expected increase in demand for specialist and management roles in the next few years means that we need quality talent entering the industry now to fill these future positions.

“Open Doors’ is a unique opportunity for the industry collectively to display the complexity and scope of modern construction projects and give people a taste of what it’s really like to work in the industry today. It’s an exciting initiative which we hope will encourage more people to consider construction as a prospective career with good opportunities.

“The scheme will also allow the industry to engage with local communities and strengthen relationships at a local level. What the public will see is a skilled, sophisticated and progressive industry – the Open Doors weekend will is certain to challenge perceptions.”

http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2012/oct/open-doors.cfm
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Old October 19th, 2012, 04:52 PM   #4774
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London cabs have been voted the best taxis in the world, according to an annual global taxi survey conducted by Hotels.com, a US-based travel company and a part of the Expedia group,

Around 11 percent of global travellers who voted in the survey favoured London’s black cabs as the best in the world, followed by those in New York (6.4 percent), Tokyo (5.6 percent), Shanghai (4.8 percent) and Bangkok (4.3 percent).

Travellers voted for the cabs in seven categories, and London cabs took the lead in five of those categories; friendliness, knowledge of the area, cleanliness, safety and quality of driving. New York beat London as the best city for cab availability, and Bangkok topped the list for best value.

Alison Couper, the senior director of communications at Hotels.com, said, ‘It is great news for London to be the home of the best taxis for the fifth year running. London’s iconic black cabs are recognized around the world as being the highest quality and it’s due to the impressive expertise of London taxi drivers that they’re seen to have the best local knowledge compared to any other city in the world.’

The taxi survey also highlighted that around half of all respondents, 56 percent, have fallen asleep in a taxi, while around a fifth of the respondents, or 19 percent, have used the journey to touch up their hair and makeup. Around 26 percent of the people surveyed admitted to having kissed in the backseat of a cab.

Other facts revealed by the survey include that around 15 percent of respondents admitted not tipping their taxi driver, and 39 percent have often rounded the tip off to the next currency unit over the fare. Safety has been voted the most important quality in a cab driver, with their local knowledge and moral values coming next.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #4775
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London home to six of world’s top 10 bars


Six of the world’s top 10 bars are in London, according to an industry poll.

The Artesian at the Langham Hotel, Portland Place, Westminster, comes top in the World’s 50 Best Bars survey produced by Drinks International.

The Nightjar in City Road near Old Street is at number three, the Connaught Bar in Mayfair at four and the American Bar at the Savoy at five.

Colebrooke Row in Islington is at eight and Callooh Callay in Rivington Street, Shoreditch is at nine.

The other two bars making up the top 10 are PDT at two and Death & Co at six, both in New York; Baxter Inn in Sydney at seven; and Bramble in Edinburgh at 10.

Drinks International bars editor Lucy Britner said: “The Artesian is a worthy winner. The attention to detail and cocktail-craftsmanship is outstanding and head barman Alex Kratena brings his own personal touch of magic to proceedings. The setting is luxurious and elegant and the service is welcoming and impeccable.

“London won the battle with New York for the top spot this year. The city has a rich history of cocktail culture but the best thing is that it’s also at the forefront of innovation.

“With so much strength in depth for the London bar scene, our panel of international experts has effectively voted.”

The list was voted on by 150 top experts from 40 countries, and was announced at a ceremony in London attended by leading industry figures and representatives from the listed bars.

Other London bars in the top 50 are Happiness Forgets (12), Zetter Townhouse (15), Portobello Star (27), Worship Street Whistling Shop (33), Beaufort Bar at the Savoy Hotel (37), Milk & Honey London (40) and Salvatore at Playboy (46).
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Old October 19th, 2012, 04:56 PM   #4776
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Old October 19th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #4777
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London now second most attractive financial centre


LONDON: London has moved from sixth to second behind New York in a ranking of the world's most attractive financial centers by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, due in part to the British capital's international connections. London's "economic clout, ease of doing business, innovation and attraction as an international gateway" offset Britain's sluggish economy and financial job losses, according to the October 11 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which examined and ranked the social and economic performance of 27 cities.

New York remained in first place, while Toronto and Paris rank third and fourth, respectively, based on a blend of criteria that include cost of living, natural environment, transport, health and security.

London, which hosted the Olympics this year, topped PwC's new 'city gateway' category that seeks to measure a financial center's attraction to people outside its home country.
London has moved from sixth to second behind New York in a ranking of the world's most attractive financial centers by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, due in part to the British capital's international connections.

"If we are to continue to be a high-performing city, we need to consider whether we are planning adequately for the challenges that lie ahead, looking at major infrastructure improvements and connectivity to maintain our edge," David Snell, a partner in PwC's London office, said in a statement.

Transportation

London Mayor Boris Johnson has been trying to convince prime minister David Cameron's government to build a new airport to replace Heathrow, which suffers from congestion. The first Asian city in the ranking, Singapore, comes in seventh, behind Stockholm and San Francisco, and before Hong Kong.

Four of PwC's five leaders in inner-city transportation and infrastructure sit in Asia: Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Paris moved up seven spots to top the livability category.

The UK capital's financial industry is fighting to keep its reputation intact after scandals including the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate and an alleged $2.3 billion trading fraud at Swiss bank UBS AG.

The UK has shed more than 100,000 financial jobs, or a tenth of the industry's workforce, since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc in 2008, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/b...w/16818705.cms
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Old October 19th, 2012, 05:00 PM   #4778
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London Skyline by ElWanderer, on Flickr
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Old October 19th, 2012, 09:48 PM   #4779
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Gatwick considers second runway

Gatwick Airport will submit plans for an additional runway to the independent commission on aviation capacity next year.

The airport’s operating company has started detailed work to consider its options, but will stick to an agreement prohibiting the development of a second runway before 2019.

Gatwick kept open the option of a second runway in July when it published its masterplan for the period until 2020, when it said it expected to remain a single runway operation for the medium term but would hold onto land for expansion.

An agreement with West Sussex County Council in 1979 prevents Gatwick from developing a new runway before 2019.

The masterplan outlined plans to invest £1 billion in infrastructure between 2014 and 2020 through a series of improvements to its runway, taxi areas and two passenger terminals. Under the plan, Gatwick expected to increase its passenger capacity to 40 million from the current level of 33m.

While Heathrow is the UK’s busiest airport, Gatwick is Europe’s most-used ‘point-to-point’ airport – where passengers do not connect to other flights – and the continent’s busiest single runway airport.

Gatwick’s examination of a second runway will consider surface access, economic impacts and environmental issues including noise and air quality.

It said a second runway “would help to ensure that London’s airports provide the South-east and the UK with the connectivity they need”.

Gatwick Airport Limited chief executive Stewart Wingate added that a second runway would have “a significantly lower environmental impact” than a third runway at Heathrow, and would offer a “much stronger” business case than Stansted.

...
http://www.cnplus.co.uk/news/sectors...637333.article
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Old October 19th, 2012, 10:00 PM   #4780
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London voted 'best financial city' in the world


By Marcus Leach

A study from financial services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that London is the best financial city in the world.

The PwC study, Cities of Opportunity 2012, showed that London had once again regained top spot as the best place to do business.

The capital climbed four spots from last year to claim joint first position with New York in a ranking of 27 of the world’s leading cities, beating off competition from Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong.

It ranked London as the best city for its international connectivity as well as putting it top for its public transport system, universities and health service. It also gave it top marks for its economic clout, cultural vibrancy and ease of doing business.

“Yet again another major survey shows London leaving the global competition in its wake as the best city in the world to live, visit, work and invest in and tying with the Big Apple,” Mayor Boris Johnson said.

Top Countries

1 = London
1 = New York
3 Toronto
4 Paris
5 Stockholm
6 San Francisco
7 Singapore
8 Hong Kong
9 Chicago
10 Tokyo

http://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/news.php?NID=15484&Title=London+voted+'best+financial+city'+in+the+world
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