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Novak Djokovic back in detention ahead of appeal hearing

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World tennis star Novak Djokovic is back in detention at the Park Hotel in Melbourne ahead of his appeal against the re-cancellation of his visa on Sunday morning at the Federal Court of Australia.

After meeting with his lawyers for several hours, Djokovic was driven to the same immigration hotel where he spent four nights last week for what he will hope will be the final night.

The world number one’s legal team has been preparing his case following the decision of Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke on Friday to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time on the grounds of “health and good order”.

A brief procedural hearing was held on Saturday morning, where Justice David O’Callaghan confirmed the case has been transferred from the Federal Circuit Court and that the main hearing will take place at 9.30am on Sunday (10.30pm on Saturday Irish time).

Djokovic is due to play his first-round match at the Australian Open against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic on Monday.

A timetable was agreed on Friday, with Djokovic to be detained at 8am on Saturday morning for a meeting with immigration officials before meeting with his lawyers, also under detention.

The world number one is appealing the decision on the grounds that it was both affected by jurisdictional error and irrational, but the threshold for success is much higher than in the first hearing.

It emerged on Friday that Hawke based his finding not on the validity or otherwise of Djokovic’s medical exemption but on the potential for his continued presence in the country to stoke anti-vaccination sentiments and a threat to public order.

Hawke cited Djokovic’s status as a “high-profile unvaccinated individual, who has indicated publicly that he is opposed to becoming vaccinated against Covid-19” and said he had “publicly expressed anti-vaccination sentiment”.

Hawke stated his belief that not cancelling the visa could encourage Australians not to take the vaccine, increasing pressure on the health service. “I consider that his ongoing presence in Australia may pose a risk to the good order of the Australian community,” he said.

‘Apparent disregard’

Hawke gave significant weight to Djokovic’s admission that he attended an interview with l’Equipe last month despite knowing he had tested positive for Covid-19 and argued Australians may follow suit.

“I have also given consideration to the fact that Mr Djokovic has, in the past, shown an apparent disregard for the need to isolate following the receipt of a positive Covid-19 test result,” he said.

Djokovic’s release from detention on Monday resulted in police pepper spraying his supporters and Hawke cited the possibility of civil unrest, although his lawyers will argue on Sunday that the same could result from his deportation.

Hawke, meanwhile, dismissed Djokovic’s arguments that the cancellation of his visa would either be seen as politically motivated or jeopardise the viability of the country hosting the Australian Open.

Djokovic had been waiting since a judge overturned the original decision on Monday to find out whether Hawke would use his powers to reimpose the penalty.

And, just before 6pm (7am Irish time) on Friday, Hawke released a statement, saying: “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.

“This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.

“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the department of home affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.

“The Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Ban

The decision means Djokovic also faces a three-year ban from the country, which could mean he never plays at the Australian Open again, although that can be waived.

The situation has dominated global news since Djokovic was detained at Melbourne airport last Thursday morning after Border Force officials concluded he did not have the right paperwork to enter the country.

The nine-time Australian Open champion had received an exemption through Tennis Australia from strict coronavirus vaccination rules for arrivals into the country by virtue of having tested positive last month.

Two other individuals – Czech player Renata Voracova and an official – with the same exemption were subsequently told they could not stay in the country and left before Judge Anthony Kelly ruled in favour of Djokovic on Monday.

Djokovic headed straight to Melbourne Park after being freed and had practised every day since, including early on Friday morning, but his hopes of staying in the country appeared to fade as the week went on following revelations about his behaviour following his positive test.

He also admitted his declaration form falsely claimed he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to his trip to Australia, which he attributed to a mistake from his agent.

There has been strong criticism of the way the Australian government has handled the situation but public opinion has been firmly in favour of Djokovic being sent home. – PA

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Barwood Homes invests in Woodville resi scheme (GB)

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Harworth Group plc has completed the sale of an eight-acre land parcel at Woodville, Derbyshire to Barwood Homes for the delivery of 73 new houses. This represents Harworth’s first transaction with the Northampton-based housebuilder. The land parcel forms part of a 53-acre regeneration site which is owned by Beepart Ltd, part of Dyson Group, the Sheffield-based former manufacturer of industrial materials. Harworth is promoting the site on its behalf through a Planning Promotion Agreement. In April 2022, South Derbyshire District Council granted outline consent for the creation of up to 300 homes on the site, in addition to a c.30,000ft² local center with convenience retail and leisure amenities and over 150,000ft² of employment space for a range of uses.

 

The wider site has been unlocked by the delivery of Derbyshire County Council’s Woodville to Swadlincote Regeneration Route, which opened to traffic in December 2021, providing better access to Swadlincote and traffic relief in Woodville, as well as improved connectivity across the site. Preparation works will commence shortly for the next phases of residential and employment land sales at the development.

 

Ed Catchpole, Regional Director for Yorkshire & Central at Harworth, commented: “This sale is a fantastic start to the development at Woodville and we are pleased to welcome Barwood Homes to the site, who will deliver high-quality new housing for the local community. Our focus is now on bringing forward the rest of the development, utilising our extensive experience in the remediation of complex sites, including earthworks and infrastructure, to ready the remaining residential and employment land.”

 

Luke Simmons, Managing Director of Barwood Homes, added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Harworth on this exciting development. The team is looking forward to engaging with the local community as we gear up to deliver a scheme of excellent quality in design, build and service.”

 

Gavin Rosson, Managing Director of Dyson Group, added: “This first sale of a residential portion of the site is an important step in unlocking the full development potential of the whole, something we have been trying to achieve for many years. Such development will help regenerate Woodville and the surrounding area, somewhere we have had a presence since 1967 and are delighted to participate in.”

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Mansion near village home to Premier League footballers mocked for looking like a ‘leisure centre’

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‘It looks like a leisure centre from 1994!’: House hunters mock design for new £4.8m mansion near village popular with Premier League footballers

  • The six-bed mansion in Mobberley, Cheshire has been brought to life using CGI photos
  • The property sits across from Knutsford, home to top flight stars Wayne Rooney, John Stones and Kyle Walker
  • Listed for £4.8m, the house will include a swimming pool, spa, gym, cinema room and safe room for security 

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A six-bed mansion listed for £4.8 million in a sought-after location, popular with Premier League footballers, has been compared to ‘a leisure centre from 1994’.

The three-floored house, which has not even been built yet, has been brought to life using CGI photos.

The property is set to boast an underground garage, swimming pool, sunken spa pool and gym.

There will also be a cinema, games room, music room and a safe room for added security.

However, one house hunter joked: ‘If you are searching for a dream house that looks like a medium sized market town leisure centre, from 1994…

The proposed development (not pictured) is situated close to Knutsford (above) which is popular with Premier League footballers including Wayne Rooney, John Stones and Kyle Walker

The proposed development (not pictured) is situated close to Knutsford (above) which is popular with Premier League footballers including Wayne Rooney, John Stones and Kyle Walker

‘£4.8 million and this baby’s yours.’

 Another added, ‘The multiple toilets and changing rooms just add to that feel.’ 

The house, located in Mobberley, Cheshire is just across from the village Knutsford, home to many top flight stars like Wayne Rooney, John Stones and Kyle Walker. 

The six-bed pad will be set in six acres of land amid the countryside and will have a lift linking all the floors for maximum luxury.

The house – which has just been reduced in price – is being sold by Savills and advertised through Rightmove.

The listing reads: ‘A rare opportunity to create a unique and spectacular family home offering over 22,500 sq ft of accommodation set in approx six acres of land.

‘The property when completed will offer incredibly light, airy, spacious accommodation.

‘The accommodation is thoughtfully laid out over three floors with a flexible layout that is ideal for modern family living and entertaining on a grand scale.’

Home hunters have compared the house to a council-run leisure centre due to its appearance from the outside

Home hunters have compared the house to a council-run leisure centre due to its appearance from the outside

One user added: 'The multiple toilets and changing rooms just add to that feel'

One user added: ‘The multiple toilets and changing rooms just add to that feel’

One comment read, 'Confused by this. Does the insane price tag actually include the cost of the build? 'It says it's an "opportunity to create"

One comment read, ‘Confused by this. Does the insane price tag actually include the cost of the build? ‘It says it’s an “opportunity to create” 

One comment read, ‘Confused by this. Does the insane price tag actually include the cost of the build? ‘It says it’s an “opportunity to create”.

‘Are you just getting the land and planning permission? And for that right I’d like a few more of the CGI images since you can’t actually, you know, view it.’

Another user replied: ‘I think that’s just the land.

‘Crazy eh, it’s been reduced a few times too, unsurprisingly.’

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Thackeray Group sells London office development for over €35.5m (GB)

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Thackeray Group has sold its Assembly Rooms office development in Putney to a private investor for more than €35.5m (£30m).Assembly Rooms is the first new office development in Putney for over a decade. Designed by Jo Cowen Architects, it provides 26,624ft² of office and retail space over basement, ground, and three upper floors, as well as a gym and panoramic roof terrace to ensure a healthy work-life balance. The Assembly Rooms was designed to ensure a highly sustainable destination through reducing energy usage, increasing positive environmental diversity, and its commitment to the health and well-being of employees.

 

The development was put on the market in April after it was let to Gallaher Limited and NatWest. Gallaher Limited signed a 10-year lease for the 22,218ft² of office space, while NatWest signed a 15-year lease for a 4,406ft² bank on the ground floor and basement.

 

Antony Alberti, CEO and co-founder of Thackeray Group, said: “The sale of the Assembly Rooms follows the successful completion of our business plan for the development and endorses our decision to carry out the first office development in Putney for a decade. It takes our disposals so far this year to £70 million, which provides us with equity for reinvestment into more active opportunities”.

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