Thank you to a local resident who lives in West End for alerting the blog to this.
They recently received the following letter:
Checking their website, which is noted on the bottom of the letter, I found:
Their motto ‘Rus in Urbe’ somewhat ironically translates to:
– an illusion of countryside created by a building or garden within a city.
Our local resident continues:
First thoughts on receiving the letter today were that it looked like another speculative land group were trying to ‘do a Gladman’ in the town albeit on a much smaller scale. We were about to consign it to the dustbin when I decided to investigate a bit further.
Background: The Trilandium site (‘Wainds Field’) gained planning permission in October 2009 for 28 houses and they put in a bit of roadway and some drains in summer of 2012 which meant that they had started building within the 3 years time limit. They established a sales office on the site in 2015 and marked out some plots but couldn’t get any interest in the proposed houses so the site has been left semi-derelict ever since.
Following up on this resident’s email I phoned Trilandium who said they were ‘building under licence’ on the site but no longer have any interest in it. They suggested I call the landowners, an investment company called Stirling Mortimer and ask for James, which I did.
James it turns out is the very same James from Havisham Investments.
He told me that he had been approached by a local resident a few months ago asking him whether they might be interested in purchasing their garden that is adjacent to Wainds Field. Asking how this resident knew of him he couldn’t recall.
James was very keen to make it clear that this was simply a request to local residents to assess their interest and if there was none then that was fine. He could not say when and if the Wainds Field development will take place or if gaining some additional land was crucial to the development.
Back to our local resident (who wishes to remain anonymous):
The parcel of land known locally as ‘the Trilandium site’ is actually listed in a portfolio of land by Stirling Mortimer No. 8 Fund UK Land Ltd. The fund report states that the land belongs to them as part of this investment portfolio and had been subject to a collaborative agreement with Trilandium. That meant they received a share of the profits from the sale of the houses built.
Despite Trilandium paying an initial £100k to Stirling Mortimer before commencing work the houses have not been built. They were due to pay another £100k by May 2016 or lose permission to develop the land. This was obviously not paid because the latest fund report (February 2017) states that an offer for purchase of the site has been accepted (not yet completed) from a Lancashire based developer.
A bit of research about Stirling Mortimer shows that they are based in the Channel Islands and that there has been some controversy over several of their overseas property investment funds. It is reported that the company are currently assisting the Serious Fraud Office. Further background on the company can be found on Google.
Havisham Investments Ltd who sent the letter are a dormant company and two of their listed directors are also directors of Stirling Mortimer.
The Ryedale Plan sites consultation in October 2015 identified areas of land for possible development around the town. The gardens they are now targeting with this letter were clearly within the conservation area and outside the boundary for development.
With the Wainds Field site and the old Tesco site (which is still for sale) plus the Gladman site (last I heard it was for sale with all offers considered) we certainly don’t need any more building land in the town.
Interestingly the latest Stirling Mortimer Annual Report states:
Each site continues to be visited on a regular basis to maintain safety and security. The Fund carries insurance to cover any claims made against it for accidents or injuries that may occur on the Fund’s land.
Here’s some pictures of Wainds Field today, I’ll leave you to reflect on that statement :