Cameron to appeal for 'national unity' over HS2

Reports that Prime Minister David Cameron is to appeal for 'national unity' over the controversial High Speed Two (HS2) rail link feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Independent reports that Cameron will "wade into the controversy over the planned High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link today by accusing opponents of a lack of vision and playing politics with the country’s prosperity". The newspaper says that Cameron will use a speech to industry body the Confederation of British Industry, "to appeal for ‘national unity’ to get the project started and completed on time, in the spirit of the 2012 Olympics". The Prime Minister will also announce that the new head of HS2, Sir David Higgins, "will begin by reporting on the costs and benefits of the project", the newspaper reports.

Writing in the Telegraph, London mayor Boris Johnson hails the Chinese state’s ability to quickly push through major infrastructure schemes. Johnson says it built an entire 813-mile high speed track from Beijing to Shanghai within two years. "That is the kind of period we set aside, in our big infrastructure projects, for the first consultation on the environmental impact assessment. And then there will be the equalities impact assessments and the judicial reviews and the appeals and the planning inquiries and the whole spine-cracking yawnathon that will comfortably soak up a decade or more in which we fail to achieve what the Chinese have done in two years", he writes.

The redevelopment of Battersea Power Station will include a viewing platform in one of the chimneys and a roof garden, the Daily Mail reports. The newspaper says that "plans released by developers this week ahead of a period of public consultation show the £750million renovation will feature a huge 90,000 sq ft, or 460ft by 200ft, roof garden". There will also be an observation platform at the top of one of the building's four chimneys, "providing panoramic views across London", the newspaper reports.

Actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley’s dream of a "floating paradise garden" across the River Thames between Temple and the South Bank has moved forward after the launch of a trust to raise funds for the project, the Independent reports. The newspaper says that the Garden Bridge Trust "has been formed to organise the funding and construction of a bucolic river crossing in the heart of the capital – a concept that first came to Ms Lumley 15 years ago".

The Financial Times (subscription) reports that "London’s largest development site to come to the market this year" has been sold to a Singapore investor. According to the newspaper Oxley Holdings Ltd, a Singapore-listed developer, plans to build 3,400 homes on the site in east London’s docklands.

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