LONDON (Reuters) – Wealthy homeowners in some of London’s most affluent neighborhoods are racing to build luxury basements with swimming pools and wine cellars before new rules limiting underground developments come into force.
Over the past decade a growing number of property owners unable to build up or out in tight London streets have opted to dig down, bypassing rules governing above-ground work and encouraged by technological advances in building basements.
LONDON (Reuters) – With a year until Scotland’s referendum on independence, enough voters are “don’t knows” to swing the vote and only one in four are certain to vote for separating from Britain, according to an opinion poll on Wednesday.
The survey follows a flurry of warnings from British government figures this year on the potential negative economic impact of independence. Finance minister George Osborne said this week it would make Scotland four percent poorer over the next 30 years and over-dependent on volatile tax receipts from the oil and gas industry.
LONDON, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Oil exploration at a site in
rural England that sparked anti-fracking protests two weeks ago
will be put on hold later this month and reconsidered next year
with the freeze hailed a “cautious victory” by campaigners.
Shale gas driller Cuadrilla Resources on Tuesday withdrew an
application to extend drilling and horizontal well testing at a
site near Balcombe village in West Sussex beyond Sept. 28 when
its current permit expires and said it would submit new plans.
LONDON (Reuters) – A new London skyscraper that reflects sunlight at an intensity capable of melting parts of a car became the latest attraction in the city’s financial district on Tuesday as the developers promised to find a quick fix.
The glass-clad tower, dubbed the Walkie Talkie for its distinctive flared shape, was blamed this week for warping the wing mirror, panels and badge on a Jaguar car parked on the street below the 37-storey building that is under construction.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s new chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, who has vowed to remain traditional by barring women rabbis and same-sex marriage, was sworn in on Sunday to face the challenge of uniting the nation’s polarized Jewish community.
About 1,400 guests, including Britain’s heir apparent Prince Charles, attended a ceremony at a north London synagogue as Mirvis replaced the respected Jonathan Sacks after 22 years as the leading spokesman for British Jews.
LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – A British safety group on
Thursday ended a six-day suspension of flights by Super Puma
helicopters in the North Sea, imposed after four oil rig
contractors were killed in a crash last week.
Although the cause of last Friday’s fatal accident near
Scotland’s Shetland Islands remains unknown, the Helicopter
Safety Steering Group (HSSG) said there was no evidence to
continue a suspension on flights put in place on Saturday.
LONDON (Reuters) – Australian entertainer Rolf Harris was charged with 13 child sex offences on Thursday as part of an investigation by British police into child abuse that has led to the arrest of more than a dozen aging celebrities.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Harris, 83, faced nine counts of indecent assault related to two girls aged under 16 in the 1980s, and four offences of making indecent images of a child last year.
LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – WPP, the world’s largest
advertising agency, slightly raised its 2013 forecast on
Thursday due to rising revenues and said the merger of two major
rivals would spur it to step up its pace of small and medium
WPP posted a 12 percent rise in headline pre-tax profits for
the first half to 524 million pounds ($810 million) with a 7.1
percent rise in first-half reported revenue to 5.3 billion
pounds, broadly in line with market forecasts.
LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) – A cull of thousands of badgers
began in southwestern England on Tuesday in a bid to slow the
spread of a cattle disease with animal rights activists vowing
to do everything possible to stop the shootings after blocking
the cull for eight years.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said the cull started
overnight with marksmen set to shoot up to 5,000 of the
black-and-white striped nocturnal animals in two test areas of
Somerset and Gloucestershire over the next six weeks.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain should have lower expectations of its military power because government spending cuts mean it will not be able to fight every potential war it faces, the new head of its armed forces said.
The European Union’s biggest military spender is grappling with cuts which some of its top brass, as well as allies such as the United States, fear will make it difficult for it to fight another war on the scale of those in Afghanistan or Iraq.