Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland housing association takes legal action over valuation of land under Belfast's M3 flyover

Helm housing's plan was to build 200 affordable homes at Great George's Street

By Alan Erwin

One of Northern Ireland's biggest housing associations is taking a multi-million pound legal action over a controversial land purchase.

Helm Housing is seeking damages against the firm involved in valuing the site it bought for a major project in Belfast.

Backed heavily by public funds, Helm paid £9.7 million in 2007 for the undeveloped land at Great George's Street.

The proposal was to build 200 affordable homes on the site under the M3 flyover.

But amid ongoing issues over planning permission, no development has taken place.

Meanwhile the land bought close to the height of the property boom is now worth a fraction of what Helm paid.

The association has issued High Court proceedings against Myles Danker Associates Ltd over the valuation provided for the deal.

A claim for negligence is being advanced as part of an action alleging the assessment was millions of pounds too high.

In court today a judge was told mediation attempts have so far failed to resolve the dispute.

David Dunlop, for Helm, said expert evidence would deal with valuation issues and potential development opportunities on the site.

After being briefed on the current state of affairs Mr Justice Weatherup agreed to list the case for a two-day hearing next February.

A further review was also penciled in for October.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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