Persimmon 'investing heavily in flat-pack homes'

Reports that one of Britain's biggest housebuilders is 'investing heavily' in prefabricated housing feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that Persimmon acquired a timber frame factory at Castle Bromwich, near Birmingham, as part of its takeover of a smaller rival, Westbury, in 2006. The factory sold more than 3,250 timber-frame home kits last year, a 19 per cent rise on the previous year, supplying just over a third of Persimmon's homes, according to the paper.

The Telegraph and the Times offer differing takes on state of the UK’s housing market. Based on a study by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Telegraph reports that mortgage lending "jumped by 13 per cent in the three months to September". However, the Times (subscription) takes a different angle, reporting that mortgage lending "plunged by almost 20 per cent in September".

A plan to expand the port of Liverpool looks set to move ahead after "no significant environmental objectives" were received against the proposals by a 5 November deadline, the Financial Times reports. The paper says the scheme would accomodate larger container ships than can fit through the existing port's dock and aims to open by 2015, "luring trade from the congested South East".

London’s Evening Standard reports that 46 per cent of MPs favour the expansion of Heathrow over other proposals for building new runways in the South East, according to a poll of 93 politicians. The paper says construction of a new hub in the Thames Estuary is the least popular option. "The findings are a major boost to Heathrow’s campaign to defend its position as the UK’s premier airport against a plethora of rival plans, including expansion at other airports and the creation of a replacement," the paper says.

Finally, the Telegraph reports that the Prince of Wales’ residence Clarence House a launched a new initiative to dispel "myths" about the heir to the throne. The paper says that a list of 26 frequently asked questions about the prince has been published on his website. They include one on architecture to tackle suggestions that the Prince dislikes "all modern architecture". In reply the site says: "No. The Prince has been the Patron of several contemporary architects, and has provided training to young architects through his charity. The Prince's Foundation for Building Community. The Prince believes buildings should be designed on a human scale and be sustainable, should respect the character of local surroundings, and should be able to cope with a variety of uses over their lifetime."

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