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Consortium Testrad say the design could be built within seven years

Development quango sent staff to pottery classes

Former staff of a development quango were sent for patchwork, pottery and jewellery-making lessons at taxpayers’ expense, an investigation has found.

Light trails on Blackwall Tunnel Approach

Drivers will be charged to use Blackwall Tunnel

Motorists face toll charges of more than £2 to use the Blackwall Tunnel, to fund a new road crossing under the Thames at Silvertown.

Campaigners stage protest to save Coryton refinery in Essex

Campaigners trying to save jobs at an oil refinery have staged a protest amid warnings that its closure could see more than £100 million drained from the economy.

EasyJet's new London airport – in Southend

Southend-on-Sea's tourist board boasts of the town's seven "glorious" miles of seafront, the world's longest pleasure pier and "so much more". But visitors from next year may have the beaches of Ibiza and the Algarve more on their mind, after easyJet said it was to fly to popular tourist destinations from its airport.

Visitors find the only way is the Other Essex

The white-stilettoed stars of ITV2's reality show have boosted interest in the county's more natural attractions

Q&A: Tony Hall, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House

Tony Hall, 59, has been chief executive of the Royal Opera House (ROH), Covent Garden, since 2001. He is the highest paid arts organisation chief in Britain, and is also chair of the Cultural Olympiad, the series of cultural events being organised to coincide with the 2012 London Olympics.

Eric de Maré's RIBA show reveals raw substance of an industrial age

They are stark and gaunt, often radiating an aura of carbonised dampness that suggests ruin and redemption. In our age of urban regeneration, the photographs of Eric de Maré, on show at the Royal Institute of British Architects, are ironic palimpsests of the government's grands projets on the Olympic site and Thames Gateway. But is Britain really on the march again, in the way that De Maré thought it was in the 50s and 60s? Half a century later, do we give a damn, as he did, about ordinary older buildings and settings?

Tories accused of hypocrisy over conference events

Conservatives have been accused of "rank hypocrisy" for taking cash from public bodies to sponsor events at their party conference.

Taxpayers' cash spent on hotels and massages

Civil servants spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on luxury hotels, M&S lunches, away days and staff massages last year, newly-released figures show.

Station to station: the new power generation

The architecture of Britain's latest wave of energy plants is the finest since Bankside in the 1940s

Home Swede home: A new 'village' on the 2012 Olympics site is to be designed by Ikea

Brand overload, asks Oliver Bennett, or a brilliant place to live?

Editor-At-Large: Tesco calls its big sites 'towns'. I call them monopolies

Brave new world or corporate toytown? Residents of east London have watched as large swathes of the area have been torn down to accommodate the 2012 Olympics. While the prospect of new, world-class sporting facilities in a run-down and under-developed part of the city is an exciting one, we ought to be concerned about other aspects of this huge chunk of urban regeneration. Local people have lost their cherished allotments, small shops have been closed, and a whole range of family-run businesses forced to relocate. Run-down Georgian and Victorian property (which could have been restored to add a blend of architectural styles to the urban landscape) has been compulsorily purchased as developers rip down existing buildings to replace them with brand new housing. The things that residents want – independent shopkeepers, markets, libraries, theatres and playgrounds – are taking second place.

Observations: Jarvis is centre stage as Metal gurus find new creative outlet

Jarvis Cocker, that most uncommonly mordant celebrator of common people, was feeling frisky when he officially opened Metal, the new centre for art and ideas, in Southend. "I like the notion of a building that emits creative ideas," he told several hundred worthies, artists, and liggers that had packed into the marquee next to the Grade II-listed Chalkwell Hall, a former manor house.

Bellway forecasts drop in property sales

Three of Britain's biggest property companies have warned investors of worsening trading conditions as the slowdown in the housing market continued to bite.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago