11 Jun 2008

Good news on land banking

A landbanking company that took £69 million from 4,500 investors without meeting promises of development is to be shut by the High Court, the Financial Services Authority says.

Photo: Ruscombe fields now owned by up to 180 different owners

UKLI had sold plots of land to investors claiming that it could get planning permission for the land, which they could then sell on to developers for a huge profit. But none of the properties ever achieved planning approval. The FSA charged that UKLI operated an illegal collective investment scheme and denied its investors protection for their money. See report here - and here the Guardian's comment.

This is great news to see the clamp down on land banking companies. However the story is different for Ruscombe - here the company Gladwish have divided the three fields in Ruscombe into 180 or so plots and sold them - development will never go-ahead on those fields - well extreemly unlikely especially with our Ruscombe Valley Action Group. It seems though at the moment there is not any evidence that Gladwish have said these fields are for development ie no promises. It is clear what we still need is action to also end practices like Gladwish dividing up our fields in such a way....See background re campaign in Ruscombe here and by clicking on label below there is lots more plus CPRE's view here.

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