STRAIGHT TALKING… The big news this week was Allied London’s sale of its Trinity Islands site to fellow developer Renaker, and predictably the story created quite a buzz on Twitter. Never one to shy away from an @, chief executive Michael Ingall was inundated with questions after he shared Place’s exclusive on Tuesday, and perhaps unsurprisingly was, shall we say, a little blunt with any responses. Asked by one person whether the deal was a JV with Renaker, he simply fired back: “What part of sold don’t you understand?” Ouch.

Victoria Station Harris Hawk THING October 2018

RUFFLING FEATHERS… As Place’s self-appointed ornithological expert, your author will be among the first to tell you that there’s no such thing as a seagull. Gulls, however, have proved to be a bit of a nuisance for Network Rail, which has enlisted the help of a harris hawk to rid them from the roof of Manchester’s Victoria station. The shiny new overhaul of the station has become distinctly less shiny since gulls decided to start roosting on the roof, and the gulls are apparently pecking at the panels, creating holes and letting rainwater leak down on to the platforms. Network Rail has now employed the hawk to scare off the gulls, with the hawk being flown by a handler eight times a month between October and November to encourage the gulls to go elsewhere. [Ornithologist’s note: for those interested, the gulls in question at this time of year are likely to be black-headed gulls or herring gulls…]

The White Swan THING October 2018

STAR TREATMENT… Another year, another missed Michelin star for Manchester, and another outcry about a lack of recognition for the city’s restaurant scene. But it’s not as if the North West is devoid of any Michelin stars: one of the big winners was the White Swan at Fence in Pendle, pictured above, which bagged its first star this year. Run by 28-year-old chef Tom Parker, the pub has also been picked as one of the best gastropubs in the UK and has two AA rosettes. Elsewhere, Moor Hall in Aughton was awarded a star, while chef Simon Rogan scored another for Rogan & Co, the sister restaurant to L’Enclume in Cartmel. Plenty of places to go if you want to eat in style…

Hyperloop Prototype October 2018

PIPE DREAMS… Remember Ryder Architecture and Arup’s proposals for a hyperloop for the North? Liverpool to Glasgow via Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle in 47 minutes might be that little bit closer after the first full-scale prototype of a Hyperloop passenger capsule was unveiled this week. Designed by industrial studio Priestmangoode, the capsule was revealed in Spain and is made of the catchily-named composite material Vibranium, a moniker borrowed from Marvel Comics. It might be some time before we see these zooming over the Pennines at 700 miles an hour, but it’s an important first step, and the companies behind the prototype are hoping to have it optimised for passenger usage by next year.

TEN TO ONE… Many happy returns to Liverpool One, which turned has just turned 10 years old. Developer Grosvenor held a birthday bash down in London to help celebrate the development’s past decade, and the get-together featured a reunion of the team who helped to put it together, including Guy Butler, now of Glenbrook Property. With the shopping and leisure area reporting strong and growing footfall, and attracting all sorts of tenants – including Europe’s biggest Foot Locker – this looks like it’ll be the first decade of many.

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