Sterling's Stability | Retail Contrasts | Overdue Permits

Raheem Sterling’s form has been so good recently even he’s struggling to keep up. Despite a 6-0 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium, the talking point amongst Manchester City fans hasn’t been Gabriel Jesus’ hat trick, but instead Sterling’s inability to stay on his feet. The first of City’s two spot-kicks was awarded when Sterling fell over after stubbing his toe on the ground whilst trying to shoot. One fan took to Twitter dubbing the event ‘the worst Sterling fall since Brexit’ whilst others are simply calling it the worst refereeing decision of all time. So we needed no invitation to look at the other contenders from over the years and have picked out our top three:

  • Australia v Croatia 2006 – Referee Graham Poll officiated his last-ever World Cup match after awarding a Croatian player three yellow cards in the ninety minutes.

  • France v West Germany 1982 –. A ‘foul’ by German goalkeeper caught the attention of the crowd, but apparently not the referee, despite the French player, Patrick Battison, losing three front teeth and being stretchered off with a broken jaw! The French side went on to lose in the first penalty shoot-out in World Cup history.

  • And the final contender needs no introduction - just three words to send shivers down the spine of every English football fan… ‘Hand of God.’

According to a report compiled for PwC by the Local Data Company, the UK saw the largest half-year decline in retail units for five years in the first six months of 2018. The report found that a net 1,123 stores have disappeared from Britain's top 500 High Streets with closures in categories most affected by online shopping such as fashion stores and electrical retailers. The report was published on the back of news this week that struggling fashion retailer New Look is set to close up to 100 stores, with the company's chairman Alistair McGeorge lamenting that the retail market is "in the poorest shape that I've ever seen it". Yet amidst the relentless flow of bad news, Property Week's lead story this week was about TK Maxx opening its first store on Oxford Street. Ironically they are moving into a unit vacated by New Look!  The contrasting fortunes of these two retailers couldn't be more stark. TK Maxx is actually enjoying a period of rapid growth with new store openings and an 11% jump in turnover last year.  And there are other retail success stories too. The Weekly visited Thorpe Park, Leeds on Thursday where L&G and Scarborough International Properties are in the process of delivering transformational change to what was previously a traditional out-of-town office park.  Only 3 weeks ago they launched ‘The Springs’, a destination-led retail and leisure scheme, which will be anchored by a new Odeon Luxe Cinema and a gym, and is already home to retail brands such as M&S, Next, River Island and, yes you guessed it, a shiny new TK Maxx...

Obtaining planning permission is the bain of any developer’s life. It would be unimaginable (not to mention illegal!) to try to sneak under the radar of the planning authorities, or would it? This week the iconic Sagrada Familia basilica building in Barcelona has agreed to pay €36 (£31m) to the authorities after going without a building permit for more than 130 years! The famous building which attracts 4.5 million annual visitors – an average of 12,000 people a day - has technically been ‘under construction’ for 136 years – but with zero official oversight or permit from a local council or regional government. The cathedral isn’t even listed in the property registry and since 1995 has only been marked as an empty plot belonging to the diocese (archbishop) of Barcelona.  Now in the final stage of construction, 70% of the basilica is complete, with work currently being undertaken on the six central towers. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is due to be completed in 2026, over a hundred years after the death of its architect! And here we are complaining about Crossrail delays…