Heathrow third runway decision 'will be issued in autumn'

News that a decision on long-running plans for Heathrow Airport's controversial third runway will finally be issued in the autumn features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Evening Standard reports that Heathrow Airport is set to receive a final decision on permission for its planned third runway later this year. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will make a decision in the autumn on whether to grant a development consent order for the project, the newspaper says, which is "the final hurdle in the way of enlarging Europe’s busiest airport". The minister "must be satisfied the scheme meets commitments on air quality, noise mitigation and does not adversely affect UK climate change targets", it adds. In a statement to the Standard, Heathrow said its plans "will ensure that all growth from an expanded Heathrow is entirely carbon neutral".

The Guardian reports that the government-owned company behind the High Speed Two project has admitted that ancient trees were destroyed without permission during construction work. According to the newspaper, "trees were felled and the potential habitats of rare bats and butterflies destroyed" by accident by HS2 Ltd at the Calvert Jubilee nature reserve in Buckinghamshire without notifying the landowners, the Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT). Mark Vallance, reserves manager for BBOWT, said he was "livid", adding: "It terrifies me that this sort of thing can happen so easily," he said. 

The Times reports that the National Trust "will convert vast areas of its land from meat production to woodland to become carbon neutral by 2030". It says the conservation charity "plans to spend about £90 million creating 18,000 hectares of woodland, increasing the proportion of forests from 10 to 17 per cent by 2030". More than half the land to be converted is currently used for grazing, it adds.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Prime Minister  Boris Johnson "has moved to shore up support in the newly Tory seat of Redcar by announcing £71million of funding to transform a former steelworks into a clean energy hub". According to the newspaper, the site of SSI Steelworks, which closed in 2015, "is one of the largest development sites in the country, and will be turned into a business zone focusing on clean energy, low carbon and hydrogen power technologies". Rishi Sunak, a Treasury minister, said it was part of the Government's commitment to levelling up opportunities around the country and to make Teesside a "global trading centre" once again. 

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