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From: worthing eco-action (worthing@eco-action.org)
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 12:44:32 +0100
Subject: Titnore - good news!

Titnore developer halts building work

Good news for the Titnore trees! One of the developers for the West Durrington project has announced that the economy has forced it to halt new building work! - see report below. Perhaps because of this, a new application still does not seem to have been received for the site by the council. This means it is more important than ever to keep the campaign going strong - with a bit more effort we may actually be able to do the impossible and Save Titnore Woods!

Sunday April 27 - Sunday Free Cafe at Camp Titnore, West Durrington (between Tesco car park and Titnore Lane). Regular event on the last Sunday of each month.

A stall will be held in Montague Place, Worthing town centre, on Saturday May 10, from 11am.

And then on Saturday May 24, at 2pm, there will be a celebration of the second anniversary of the tree camp on the steps of the town hall - please make an effort to attend, if at all possible, and forward details to anyone who may be interested. There will also be a celebration at the camp itself that evening.

http://www.protectourwoodland.co.uk

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Britain's biggest homebuilder halts new projects
Graeme Wearden
Thursday April 24 2008
guardian.co.uk

Persimmon, Britain's biggest homebuilder, today called on the government to urgently consider lifting the stamp duty threshold as the weakening housing market forced it to halt new building work.

In a grim update on the health, or otherwise, of the UK housing market, the company said that its sales had slumped in April. Cancellation rates also increased this month, as banks and building societies started pulling their mortgage deals.

Activity was down even before the credit crunch hit mortgage availability. Persimmon has sold 18% fewer houses so far this year than a year ago - despite having cut prices, offered more incentives to buyers and upped its marketing activity.

In a statement accompanying its annual general meeting, the company pleaded for some help from the government warning that the 50bn bailout for the banking sector agreed this week may not be enough.

"We believe that the government should urgently consider additional action to benefit first-time buyers by increasing the threshold for stamp duty to support an improvement in activity and help those who are most in need of assistance," Persimmon said.

At present, buyers only escape paying stamp duty if they buy a house for less than 125,000, or 150,000 in disadvantaged areas.

In a research note, Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander commented that Persimmon seemed to have thrown in the towel on hopes of any improvement in the second half of the year, and was now "reduced to pleading for government help".

The tougher market conditions mean Persimmon will not commence building work at any new sites until it sees evidence of a recovery. Ominously, it said only that market activity would increase "at some stage".

"Because of the uncertainties of the global economy and the UK lending environment it is difficult to predict when the market will improve," it said.

A spokesman explained that work is continuing at its current building sites.

The gloomy forecast sent Persimmon's shares tumbling by nearly 9% by midday. Other housebuilders also suffered, with Barratt Developments plunging 13% and Taylor Wimpey 10% lower.

The scale of the challenge facing housebuilders was underlined yesterday by the British Bankers Association, which said demand for mortgages had fallen to its lowest level since 1997.

The government met with lenders earlier this week and urged them to pass on recent interest rate cuts.

Analysts at Landsbanki predicted this morning that mortgage lending may start to recover in June.


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