Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Writs fly over dream home hold-ups

Buyers at a Belfast city centre apartment block dubbed “a haven of tranquillity” are taking legal action against developers as yet another dream development becomes mired in legal problems.

College Court Central on King Street near CastleCourt was to have been completed in November last year, according to contracts signed two years ago.

Buyers had queued overnight and paid deposits of up to £20,000 to secure their future homes before building started.

Dozens have now instructed solicitors after a delay in completion in the apartments, most of which were not finished until May or June.

Some have lodged a writ in the High Court alleging breach of contract by developers, Fernhill Properties.

No-one from Fernhill Properties or their solicitors was available for comment.

The writ, issued on August 14 but not yet served on the property company, claims the developers failed to complete by November 2008 as stipulated in the contract of April 10, 2007.

Two buyers of an apartment are suing for a declaration that the contract is cancelled, repayment of their 10% £18,100 deposit, as well as costs and damages.

Planning permission for an application for the 114 apartments, a retail unit, a bookmakers shop and commercial units was granted in January 2007.

College Court Central is the latest swish apartment block to become embroiled in problems from delayed completion to falling values contrasting with the price agreed at contract.

Buyers of apartments in the Arc development in the Titanic Quarter have formed an action group in the hope developers will drop the price of their apartments, as have buyers of homes in the James Clow development in Clarendon Dock in the city.

And in south Belfast, buyers at Ormeau Bakery have already been served with writs to complete by Big Picture Development Company, owned by Policing Board chairman Barry Gilligan.

Potential buyers of Woodlands Manor at Stockmans Way in the city have also been served with writs by PBN Property.

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