Lancashire residents to get first shale gas community cash

Reports that a group of residents in Lancashire 'will soon receive £2,070 each for living near a fracking site, in the first payments made direct to British householders by a shale gas company' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that shale gas firm "Cuadrilla said that 29 households within a 1km radius of the site would get the payment as part of a £100,000 community benefit fund for the second well it is drilling at a site between Blackpool and Preston that has attracted ongoing anti-fracking protests". 

The Times (subscription required) reports that the western section of London's Oxford Street will be pedestrianised by the end of next year. The newspaper says that "all east-west traffic will be banned from the half-mile stretch from Selfridges to Oxford Circus", and traffic "is likely to be removed from the remainder by the end of 2021". The measures "will be implemented to coincide with the launch of Crossrail, the new east-west underground line, and is expected to lead to a big increase in visitors to central London", the newspaper adds.

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that "ministers are preparing to revive the UK’s faltering effort to create a new generation of small-scale nuclear power plants". The newspaper says that talks "have intensified in recent weeks between government officials and companies including Rolls-Royce, the UK engineering group, over potential public funding to support development of so-called small modular reactors (SMRs)".

The Evening Standard reports that "Kuwaiti backers of a planned £3.2 billion theme park in Kent, billed as Britain’s answer to Disneyland, will put the brakes on the project if it fails to get planning permission next year". The paper says that the "television and movie-themed park is planned to be built on an 872-acre site between Gravesend and Dartford". The project would be the first commercial scheme to seek planning permission under the nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) regime.

The Times’ economics editor, Philip Aldrick calls for the 1961 Land Compensation Act to be "changed to permit compulsory purchase at existing use values". Aldrick says that the move "ought to result in cheaper land" for the provision of affordable homes.

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