Council Sued for Failing to Disclose Crossrail Plans
Property developer says it bought land already earmarked
Ealing Council is being sued to the tune of £2.5m after a property developer alleges it sold land it was already safeguarding for Crossrail.
Neptune Property Developments says it is unable to build on the land it bought on Horn Lane, Acton, because there were already plans to turn it into a ticket hall.
Privately-owned Neptune, which bought the land for £800,000 on 4 September 2006, wanted to build 14 two-bed apartments and office space at the site.
In a five page claim form made available from the High Court this week Neptune claimed its solicitors, DMH Stallard, asked Ealing Council to carry out an official search of the register of local land charges before Neptune agreed to buy the land.
On 31 July 2006, the form says, Ealing Council replied but ‘failed to inform the claimant (Neptune) that the property was subject to a safeguarding direction for Crossrail.’
‘It is averred that the defendant (Ealing Council) was negligent and/or in breach of its duty,’ the claim form says. ‘The claimant avers that, but for the said negligence/breach of duty, it would not have purchased the property.’
Neptune is claiming £2,670,843.59 in lost money, which includes the cost of the site, the profit it expected to make, and various fees. The company also says it is continuing to pay interest payments in the debt required to buy the site of £3,950 a month.
A spokesperson for Ealing Council said: "The matter has been refered to our insurers, who are investigating the claim."
September 5, 2008