Readers’ comments: Heathrow expansion, ‘fast track’ for quality homes

25 February 2020

Aerial view of the proposed Heathrow expansion

Heathrow may pay suppliers for data rather than assets

CM 26/01

What a great achievement! First time I have heard that data, data, data is beginning where it’s supposed to begin - by identifying what decisions need to be made. Great work and looking forward to the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) doing more wonderful things alongside Heathrow!

Chungha Cha

This is an application that’s a great use case for blockchain smart contracts. If you can prove immutably that the data has been handed over (or part of it) then that’s earned value that the smart contract can then execute part of the payment automatically. Suddenly there’s a contractual carrot rather than a stick to supply data.

Ian Cornwell

Government mulls ‘beauty fast track’ for quality homes

CM 30/01 

We seem to have contradictions with planning departments. We all hear about the high streets in towns and cities dying and the amount of units to let proves this. But we also see all the new planning approvals for out-of-town facilities.

In Glasgow they have approved a development in the West End with cinema, shopping – and of course we have the now compulsory student accommodation beside it.

Surely building such facilities will only encourage people to stay away from the city centre. I’m pretty sure this will be a common factor across the UK.

As for trees, let’s just hope they think about the roots. There is nothing like tripping over a cracked pavement caused by roots.


It is encouraging that the aspiration is to see zero-carbon homes built as the norm within five years – and that is as it should be if we are serious about the climate emergency.

But the sentiment is in stark contrast to the proposed revisions to Part L which advocate a reduction in the fabric efficiency of homes.

Is this another example of the government rhetoric being diametrically opposed to the proposed course of action, usually driven by corporate pressure?


200-year-old Symm & Company in administration

CM 10/02

Yet another irreplaceable loss to the industry.

George Barry Higgs

Such a sad day when craftsmen of the calibre this company employed and their craftsmanship are so sorely needed. Perhaps hopefully they will resurrect.

Ronald W Brooker

Very sorry to hear this news, especially of such an old and established firm.

Thomas Rochford

Very sad to read indeed. Also a significant loss to the heritage sector of our industry and a loss to the City of Oxford, the university and its wonderful world-class colleges.

Chris Soffe

Britain’s biggest road project to finish early

CM 07/02

Fantastic that it will be completed ahead of planned schedule. Well done the construction companies and crew.

Shame it was not scheduled to be completed 20 years or more ago. Why is it that planners seem to be incapable of looking forward on any infrastructure project?

Houses keep on being built but no extra schools, local roads, sewage systems, hospitals, fire and police facilities.

Marc Rawinsky

I just hope this success will be as well publicised as delays elsewhere.

John Bale

Wates’ ex-offender pilot

CM 24/01

Just a note of support for this initative. I recall earlier in my career my company used prison-trained bricklayers on several of our sites very successfully.

It was not a formal scheme but a project of our chairman who believed everyone should be given a second opportunity in these circumstances.

He also re-employed a senior accountant previously employed by the company who was imprisoned for fraudulent accounting when, as he said, he had paid for his errors.

John Albert Lyons

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