Johnson 'put pressure on TfL to speed garden bridge development process'

A claim by the London Assembly that mayoral agency Transport for London (TfL) was put under "significant pressure" by Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London to "speed up the planning and development" of the failed garden bridge project features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription) reports that an inquiry by the London Assembly, the elected body that scrutinises the mayor, has said that TfL "was put under ‘significant pressure’ by Mr Johnson’s office to speed up the planning and development of the ambitious scheme". The paper adds that documents released by TfL in February "showed that the entire scheme had cost £53 million when it was scrapped, including a £43 million bill for the taxpayer".

London's Evening Standard reports that TfL has published a consultation on emerging plans to extend the Bakerloo underground line beyond Elephant and Castle to Lewisham. The paper says that "views are sought on a new station entrance at Elephant and Castle, the tunnel route and the names of the two stations to be built in Old Kent Road".

The Guardian reports that "living near a park, public garden or playing fields can add an average of £2,500 to the price of your property, according to official data. And having a view of green space or water boosts prices even more." The paper says that, "while many will not be surprised to learn that a bit of nature on the doorstep is a desirable feature among homebuyers, this data is from the official Office for National Statistics, so it can arguably be relied upon more than findings from estate agents and other commercial bodies."

The Daily Mail reports that former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond is seeking planning consent "to turn a 200-year-old barn at his £2m castle into a party venue". The paper says that Hammond has applied to Hereford Council "to use the Grade II listed building to entertain friends and put them up for the night".

The Guardian reports that "Cuadrilla is not abandoning its fracking ambitions in Lancashire and still plans to apply for an extension to its shale gas campaign, the company has said." The paper says that the company "hopes to apply to Lancashire county council to extend drilling at the Preston New Road site beyond a 30 November cut-off point."

The Times (subscription) reports that "Bellway has reported record annual sales and profit but warned that the end of an era of house price growth and rising construction costs will put further pressure on margins next year". The paper says that the housebuilder "posted revenue of £3.2 billion for the year to the end of July, an 8.6 per cent rise on the previous year. The total number of homes sold rose by 5.7 per cent to a record 10,892."

An article in The Guardian says that "a plan to heat the giant biomes of the Eden Project and, eventually, neighbouring communities by tapping into the ‘hot rocks’ beneath the Cornish attraction has moved a step closer". The paper says that Eden Project "announced on Monday that it had secured the funding to begin drilling for clean energy next summer."

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