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Meet developers - and pay for the privilege

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An events company is charging architects £15,000 for the privilege of talking to property directors in the hope of getting work.

The all-inclusive price covers the costs for two members of a practice who wish to join the 'Property Forum' - a three-day, non-stop cruise on a boat stuffed full of 250 'decision-makers in the property industry' from companies such as Boots the Chemist, Lloyds TSB Group and Allied Domecq.

The event takes place aboard the MV Victoria cruise ship from September 23-26. It will sail from Southampton around the Channel Islands and host meetings, dinners and conferences. Around 60 supplier companies - only three of them architectural practices - will have the opportunity to discuss business matters with the 'delegates', who are attending free of charge.

The delegates specify who they want to meet, and so far 29 per cent have asked to meet architects.

The forum is the brainchild of Richmond Events, which runs similar events for the IT and finance directors.

More information and bookings for the three available places from Mark Jones: 0181 479 3213.

Manser finally allowed to extend its Heathrow Hilton

Manser Associates' £50 million reworked extension to its own award-winning Hilton Hotel at Heathrow airport has finally won planning permission.

The 22,000m2 extension incorporates 245 large bedrooms and Heathrow's largest convention hall, capable of accommodating 1000 delegates. A new enclosed bridge links Terminal 4 to a new glass atrium in the hotel. The convention hall features a raisable floor allowing for catwalk platforms, orchestra pits and other auditorium-type layouts.

Manser Associates was initially refused permission last year when it tried to extend the building with a £7 million 'finger' of accommodation rather than the extra parallelogram which will now be built (aj 8 January 1998).

At an appeal against that decision, planners ruled that the scheme would have devalued the original 'world class' 1990 structure and detracted from its design quality. The hotel has won awards from the riba and Civic Trust.

Client BAA Lynton is also working up proposals for a 500-bedroom hotel at Gatwick, a new four-star terminal-linked hotel at Stansted and a budget hotel at Heathrow.

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