Osborne 'to rule out Gatwick expansion'

Reports that the chancellor 'is preparing to rule out an expansion of Gatwick airport in a move that would help the case for a third runway at Heathrow' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription required) says it has learnt that George Osborne "is ready to advocate a ‘Heathrow or nothing’ approach to the problem of extra aviation capacity in the South East, it is understood. It follows the unanimous conclusion of the Airports Commission in the summer that an expansion of Heathrow would provide far greater economic benefits than Gatwick."

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that the UK’s "chronic housing shortage has driven rents up at their fastest rate in almost three years, with tenants in London the hardest hit." The newspaper says that "private landlords pushed the cost of accommodation up 2.7 per cent in the year to September, the biggest increase since November 2012, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics. The biggest increases were in London, where prices rose by 4.1 per cent."

The Guardian reports that the UK’s "first new nuclear power station for a generation will cost electricity customers at least £4.4 billion and the subsidy bill could reach £20 billion, the government has revealed." The newspaper says that the charges, "which will be passed on to nearly 30 million customers, are a result of ministers’ decision to guarantee the new Hinkley Point C operators £92.50 for every unit of electricity – more than double the current market price. It comes less than a week after the government admitted the £24 billion plant in Somerset will be subsidised – something it denied throughout the last parliament."

The Telegraph runs an interview with Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud. The newspaper says McCloud "strongly believes the government needs to buy, through compulsory purchase, local authority-owned land to free up more space for homes."


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