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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
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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