London's skyline 'on sale to highest bidder'

A claim that London's 'precious skyline is for sale to the highest bidder' features in today's newspaper round-up.

Evening Standard columnist Simon Jenkins bemoans a proposed skyscraper in Paddington which he says "shows the mess planning policy is in when it comes to new towers". Jenkins writes that the only tall buildings policy in the capital "is a trivial one, on sightlines to St Paul’s, a church which from Parliament Hill now looks like a pudding basin lost amid chair-legs. Any developer will tell you that tower permits depend on who lobbies hardest. London’s horizon is being configured by who gives the best lunch."

The Telegraph reports that the "sharpest contraction in construction output for three years dragged down UK growth at a faster pace than expected in the third quarter as manufacturing remained in recession." The paper says that official data "showed the UK economy expanded by 0.5 per cent in the three months to September." Construction output "shrank by 2.2 per cent on a quarterly basis, representing the sharpest contraction since the third quarter of 2012", the newspaper says.

The Times (subscription required) reports that Peter Simon, founder of the Monsoon and Accessorize fashion chain, has been granted planning permission to combine five properties in London’s Chelsea into one. The newspaper says that Simon "was also given permission to build a vast double basement with space for a swimming pool, gym, jacuzzi, wine cellar, billiards room and two flats".

World heritage experts from the United Nations "will begin their first visit to Stonehenge this morning as they begin to assess the impact on the World Heritage site of the plan to dig a tunnel through and under the Wiltshire landscape", the Western Daily Press reports. The newspaper says that the organisation "responsible for keeping World Heritage sites special will go on a 'familiarisation visit' to Stonehenge as controversy builds over the Government's plan to send the A303 into a tunnel."


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