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Hellman

The government has awarded almost £600,000 for a pilot project to use Internet technology in Bristol to cut transaction times when selling a house. Ordnance Survey uses digital mapping data to show the shape of homes and garden walls.

Euro Disney is planning to open a second park, with a cinema theme, in Paris in 2002 at a cost of £485 million. Also in Paris, the world's largest helium balloon, 100ft across, may be floated for the millennium celebrations.

A special force of more than 1400 police will be on the beat over the millennium to stop thieves taking advantage of electronic breakdowns. Meanwhile John Sercombe, 60, retired recently as the Met's longest-serving pc. He'd been patrolling streets in Notting Hill and Charing Cross for 43 years.

November 1998 saw an estimated 13,200 houses started in the uk compared with 14,000 in November 1997. Completions numbered 14,100 compared with 15,900 the previous year.

Maintenance cost increases are at their highest level since 1989 due to increased wage awards, says the rics Building Maintenance Information. It forecasts costs to rise by 4.9 per cent over the next year.

Glenda Jackson, aviation minister, has announced a consultation on baa's request to increase take-offs and landings from 120,000 a year to 185,000. A limit of 78,000 was set 12 years ago.

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