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The government is celebrating the construction of the Greenwich Millennium Village's 400th new dwelling.

According to the development's backers, Countryside Properties and Taylor Woodrow,80 per cent of its residents said the 'sustainability agenda'was a 'significant factor' in their decision to buy.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts construction costs will rocket by 27 per cent in the next five years, an increase that represents twice the predicted 13 per cent in general inflation.

Property is a better investment than gold, according to the Nationwide. The building society claims the average house price has leaped by 68 per cent in the past three-and-a-half years, while gold has risen by just 34 per cent.

Domestic recycling in the UK jumped from 7.5 per cent in 1997 to 12.4 per cent in 2002.

However, Friends of the Earth says this increase suggests Britain will fail to meet the EU's 25 per cent target for 2005.

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