Belfast Telegraph

Property firm’s victory over apartment buyer

By Alan Erwin

A property company has won its legal battle against a buyer who decided to pull the plug on an apartment sale in south Belfast.

The High Court has announced that Big Picture Developments, owned by Policing Board chairman Barry Gilligan, does not have to pay back Stephen McKenna the deposit he put down for an apartment in The Bakery on the Ormeau Road.

Mr McKenna has also been given six weeks to pay the £391,000 balance on his purchase.

As the action taken against Big Picture Developments was dismissed by consent, it also emerged that 70 percent of deals for flats at the iconic Ormeau Bakery site are now on the verge of completion.

Another three cases brought by the company over uncompleted contracts on some of the 156 high-specification apartments were also resolved at the High Court on Monday.

Legal sources close to the case disclosed that around 70 of the 100 flats released in the first phase are now either close to completion or have already completed.

Writs were initially issued last year against dozens of clients who booked flats at the showpiece south Belfast development.

Since then, however, the number of outstanding cases has steadily diminished as purchases were pushed through.

The case is one of a number of legal actions which focuses on property bought at the height of Northern Ireland's housing boom.

Apartments at The Bakery were snapped up when they went on sale in 2007.

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