Ealing Council is being sued for more than £2.5m after it failed to tell a property developer that a site it was buying was safeguarded for Crossrail
Neptune Property Developments, a subsidiary of Neptune Group, is suing the council after buying 267 Horn Lane, Acton, which it says it was unable to develop because the site was earmarked for a new 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, which focuses on commercial and residential development in London and the south-east, 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. Also said it is continuing to pay interest payments in the debt required to buy the site, of £3,950 a month.
Ealing Council is yet to comment on the case.