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Issue Date:- 13 October 2008

Hillary Court scoops top prize - twice!

MCCARTHY & Stone’s Hillary Court in Formby has been recognised by a national award scheme, winning 2 Silver awards for its gardens.  The gardens were up against intense competition from around the country in the New Homes Garden Awards, in association with a national daily newspaper.   The prizes were awarded in the Best Garden/Landscape for a Brownfield development and the Best Landscaped Retirement Development.  The judging panel, all eminent experts in their field, were seeking excellence with those garden projects which raised standards that little bit higher being recognised.  The judges felt that the landscaped grounds surrounding Hillary Court on Freshfield Road ably demonstrated the inspiring, practical and creative regeneration of outdoor space in a typical brownfield setting as well as showing a clear understanding of the special needs of people buying retirement property.

Steve Secker, managing director for the Northern region said:- “This is a real honour for McCarthy & Stone and reflects our commitment to providing an environment which is as peaceful and relaxing as possible for our residents.  We design our retirement developments very carefully, not only to express an individual character of their own, but also to blend attractively with their surroundings.”

Hillary Court is a development of one and two-bedroom apartments designed for people over 60 who need a manageable and secure home without sacrificing their independence. The bulk of the gardens, along with window cleaning and upkeep of the communal areas, is looked after by a team working with the house manager.    The development is located close to all the amenities of Formby town centre, within walking distance of the local post office, supermarket and Doctors’ surgery and easy reach of Liverpool.  

Many people in Formby are still very annoyed that the development was built and regard it as an eyesore... What do you think?  Email your views to


PROPOSALS from a Southport Euro-MP for a €10 billion EU fund to support the development of carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) to slow global warming have gained European Parliament backing.

Liberal Democrat Chris Davies described winning backing for the plan as the most important day of his political life.   Now the MEP starts a hectic month of meetings with ministers across Europe to try and win a majority in favour of the plan.   He has already been promised strong support from the British and Dutch Governments, who believe that the measures can help kickstart application of the new technology.   Use of a European funding mechanism for the work could also save the HM Treasury more than £1 billion.  

Scientists claim that the use of CCS could halve total CO2 emissions from power stations and major industrial installations by 2050.   The technology requires the separation of CO2 from the fossil fuel for permanent underground storage in depleted oil and gas fields or deep saline aquifers.

EU Heads of Government promised in March last year to ensure construction of up to 12 commercial demonstration projects by 2015 but no source of funding has yet been identified.   Power plant manufacturers believe that CCS will be commercially viable within 15 to 20 years but say that support will be needed to promote the technology during the development stage when it could double the cost of conventional power stations.

The plan introduced by Chris Davies, the European Parliament's negotiator for CCS, calls for the use up to 500 million allowances from the emissions trading scheme to meet the additional costs of the installations.   The value of the support mechanism will depend on the price of CO2 when the gas is eventually buried underground but could easily exceed €10 billion.  

The MEP will now start direct negotiations with the EU's French Presidency with a view to securing a deal between the Parliament and the Council of Ministers before the end of the year.   Mr Davies said the European Parliament had laid down a challenge.   "EU governments must now either back this proposal to kickstart CCS development or produce a realistic alternative.  At present the ideas from the Parliament are the only show in town.   CCS development has the potential to make an enormous contribution to the fight against climate change.  We can afford no delay and no more construction of conventional coal-fired power stations.  It is time now for Ministers to back their fine words of last year with some practical action."

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