Property buyers failed yesterday in their first legal attempts to get out of deals for apartments in a new Belfast city centre development.
A married couple and a private company were each seeking early High Court rulings over delays to the planned completion date.
They had paid deposits for apartments costing £245,000 and £216,000 respectively in the James Clow Granary Building complex at Princes Dock Street.
Legal proceedings were launched after being told of an anticipated six months’ slippage to the completion date, scheduled for May 31, 2009.
The developer defending the action, Sarcon Ltd, claimed its contractor encountered a number of difficulties, including the foundations for two adjoining former licensed premises.
Weather conditions and the supplier of sanitary ware going into administration were also identified as contributing to the delay.
The judge hearing both cases had to adjudicate on whether time was of the essence to the contractual completion date.
Dealing with the plaintiff, Clear Homes, Mr Justice Deeny held that was not the situation.
His ruling on that point means the Belfast-based firm cannot, at this stage, get out of its apartment deal. He delivered a similar verdict in the case brought by the married couple.
The cases will now proceed to full High Court hearings.