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ODA green lights early planning approvals

Under pressure over spiralling budgets, London 2012 at last received some good news after the Olympic Delivery Authority confirmed its first planning approvals ahead of schedule.

Work on cleaning up the Olympic Park site will now start a month ahead of schedule after the ODA Planning Committee gave the go ahead on plans.

The demolition and remediation will start in December after two planning applications from the London Development Agency and ODA were approved.

London 2012 facing tax bill over construction

The construction work for the London 2012 Olympics could be subject to a substantial VAT bill despite the financial estimates laid out in the bid document not incorporating such tax payments.

According to Shadow Sport Minister Hugh Robertson, the UK government had placed assurances that the £2.38bn cost of the construction for the Games would not be subject to normal taxes which could be as much as 17.5%.

Coe dismisses Olympic stadium bids

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe has dismissed West Ham's hopes of moving into the new Olympic Stadium by stating that none of the clubs currently looking at the venue are close to meeting the ground’s valuation.

Coe said that the organising committee has placed a £100m price tag on the stadium – a fee that none of the clubs believed to be bidding to take over the ground post-2012 were close to.

Rose Bowl bids for Test status

The Rose Bowl, home of Hampshire county cricket club, is set for a £35m redevelopment with the aim of transforming the ground into a Test match venue.

The work will increase the temporary capacity to 23,600 - the second-largest for cricket in England - and the permanent capacity to 13,500.

A hotel will also be built at the 150-acre site in Southampton and the golf course is to be extended and upgraded.

Subject to planning permission, the work is set to start in late 2007 and be completed in 2009.

Government backs 2018 World Cup bid

The government is willing to back a English bid to stage the 2018 World Cup according to Minister for Sport Richard Caborn.

According to Caborn, Chancellor Gordon Brown and UEFA president Lennart Johansson have met to discuss the idea - talks which produced a positive outcome.

The 2010 tournament has already been handed to South Africa and the 2014 World Cup will go to a South American country meaning that the 2018 event represents the first viable opportunity for a European country to stage the World Cup.

The Big Interview - Omega Dubai

Marking the 25th anniversary of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic this year, Mohamed Buamaim - Vice Chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, the promoters of the event – speaks to about the sport’s growth in the region, the challenges involved, and the future for the women’s game.

The Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the first European Tour to be held outside Europe, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, in that time how have you seen the sport grow in the region?

Seven countries race for Ryder Cup ‘22

Seven European countries have declared an interest in hosting the 2022 edition of golf’s Ryder Cup, after organisers revealed that golfing authorities in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey officially registered an interest before the deadline.

Official bids must now be submitted by 16th February before the Ryder Cup Europe body selects the host nation in autumn next year.

Spring For Success

Exciting times at Benchmark Talent, our sister company, who will be representing Olympic legend Michael Johnson - unquestionably one of the most popular athletes of all time and, since retiring, a hugely successful broadcaster and businessman.


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