Birmingham 'benefits from London exodus'

Reports that London is experiencing an exodus of young people to other parts of England feature in today's newspaper round-up.

According to the Guardian, figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that the number of young people leaving London and heading north and west is rising significantly. In the year to June last year, almost 60,000 people in their thirties left the capital, the newspaper says, the highest number on record and 10 per cent up on 2010. According to the figures, there was a net outflow of more than 20,000 from London, with Birmingham the most popular destination followed by Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford.

The Financial Times (subscription) reports on controversy surrounding the redevelopment of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in west London and nearby housing estates. Demolition of the 1930s venue began this month, it says. The £8 billion redevelopment plans, submitted by developer Capital & Counties, propose 7,500 new homes and 1.5million square feet of retail and office space. But the scheme has sparked opposition from council tenants and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s new Labour administration, who complain that the project does not provide enough affordable housing for local people.

In a related article, the Financial Times also cites research from consultancy Savills stating that 35,000 homes a year will be built in London for the next five years. Major house-building is taking place at redevelopment schemes in Earls Court, Nine Elms, the Royal Docks and Old Oak Common, it says. But concerns have been raised by architects and planners that "this rush to build risks leaving a legacy of ugly and unsuitable buildings for future generations".

The Times (subscription), it says that more than half a million pounds of public money must be spent fixing the glass roof of Portcullis House, part of the Palace of Westminster. The centrepiece of the building, which opened in 2001 at a cost of £235 million, "has been hit by a series of major problems", it says. The House of Commons administration committee has been forced to approve £488,000 of repairs, according to the newspaper.

The Guardian reports on research by trade body the National Housing Federation (NHF), which says that some residents of private rental accommodation are "having to cut back on food and heating to cope with rising rents". The NHF, which represents housing associations across England, said soaring rents and high deposits are making life increasingly difficult for those locked out of homeownership.


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