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THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph
March 28 - April 3 2012 No. 1079
‘GRANNY TAX’ Osborne stings 5m pensioners in Budget
:: COVERAGE BEGINS ON PAGE 4
Team GB going for gold in style
Diamond age The Queen addresses Parliament :: NEWS P3
By Andrew Gilligan and Robert Watts A “NEW CITY” has been proposed for the English countryside as radical planning powers are to be unveiled by ministers this week.
Up to 100,000 homes would be built on green belt in the Midlands near the controversial High Speed 2 (HS2) rail route as part of a dramatic expansion of housing.
The plan, disclosed by Andrew McNaughton, the chief engineer of HS2, would exploit the new and highly controversial National Planning Policy Framework, which aims to simplify Britain’s planning laws, increase economic growth, and provide homes for Britain’s booming population.
If it goes ahead, the development would effectively obliterate the open countryside east of Birmingham to create Britain’s longest continuous conurbation, stretching 40 miles from Coventry to the far side of Wolverhampton.
The planning framework was due to be published on Tuesday this week by ministers who want a new age of “pro-growth” planning. It was described by one Whitehall source as “the most radical business deregulation there has ever been”.
Meanwhile, new official figures analysed by The Telegraph show that two million homes are expected to be built by 2020 to meet demand fuelled by a massive population rise.
Most of the growth is predicted to take place outside major cities and will see England’s population rise by 4.4 million — the equivalent of more than half the population of London.
London itself would have a “second Docklands” development in the west of the city, said Prof McNaughton.
David Cameron recently said that he wanted to see a series of new “garden cities”, together with increased airport capacity. He warned: “We urgently need to find places where we’re prepared to allow significant new growth to happen.”
A senior Downing Street source said that while the new planning framework will give “assurances” to people concerned about the future of the countryside, it was “wrong to talk of any concessions”.
The plan has faced a wave of protest from organisations including the National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, but the source
Continued on page 2
The athletes Phillips Idowu and Jessica Ennis model the British Olympic team’s kit, unveiled last week, alongside its designer, Stella McCartney, who said: ‘They told me, “When we go into the Olympic Village canteen, we want everyone to know it’s Team GB at that table”‘ Sport: Pages 42-43
Competition Win 10 iPad2s for your school :: NEWS P11
Somali kidnap British woman freed after plane drops $1m ransom :: NEWS P9
‘Aren’t you being a little over dramatic ?’