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England to ditch face mask rules on July 19th, says minister

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People will no longer be forced to wear facial coverings from July 19th as England ends its third Covid-19 lockdown, communities secretary Robert Jenrick has announced.

Mr Jenrick said on Sunday that “the state won’t be telling you what to do” after so-called Freedom Day in just over two weeks’ time, reflecting the success of the government’s vaccination programme.

“I think we are going to now move into a period where there won’t be legal restrictions,” he told Sky News. “The state won’t be telling you what to do, but you will want to exercise a degree of personal responsibility and judgment – different people will come to different conclusions on things like masks, for example.”

Mr Jenrick’s comments came just days after the British Medical Association, the trade body for doctors, called for people to keep wearing masks to stop surging case numbers having a “devastating impact” on the NHS and economy.

But asked if he would stop wearing a mask, Mr Jenrick said: “I will. I don’t particularly want to wear a mask. I don’t think a lot of people enjoy doing it.”

Scientists have raised concerns about the final lifting of restrictions on July 19th when millions of people will not be fully immunised as the data showed cases jumped by 74 per cent week on week.

Boris Johnson, the prime minister, is set to announce more details this week on precisely which restrictions will be terminated later this month.

Mr Johnson is expected to end restrictions on mass gatherings, reopen nightclubs and could also end the one-metre social distancing rule.

Self-isolation rules

There are also likely to be changes to self-isolation rules, according to briefings by Downing Street.

People who have received two doses of a vaccine will not have to self-isolate or take coronavirus tests if they are alerted that they have come into contact with someone carrying the virus, under plans being considered by Number 10.

Also the rules could be changed so that children will not be forced to self-isolate at home if others in their “school bubble” get a positive test, according to officials. Instead schools would insist on regular testing for pupils under the proposals being discussed.

Officials said they did not recognise a report that the enforced use of track and trace measures in bars, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms and museums would be dropped.

The government has loosened most restrictions over the past month through a phased “road map” out of lockdown, but the final reopening was delayed from June 21st to July 19th.

Sajid Javid, health secretary, wrote that there were both economic and health arguments for “opening up” after three lengthy lockdowns.

“The pandemic has hit some groups disproportionately hard. Rules that we have had to put in place have caused a shocking rise in domestic violence and a terrible impact on so many people’s mental health,” he wrote in the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Mr Jenrick told Sky News that the government wanted people to “return to normality as quickly as possible” and “learn to live with the virus” given that 86 per cent of people have now had at least one jab. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2021

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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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