Receivers appointed for estate at heart of Northumberland planning row

Rumours that the property company behind a £10million claim against Northumberland County Council has gone into administration have been quashed.

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 12:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th December 2018, 12:45 pm
An artist's impression of the Dissington Garden Village proposals.

It had been suggested that Newcastle-based Lugano, or at least its arm dealing with the Dissington Garden Village application, over which it has lodged a High Court action, was in financial difficulties.

The developer’s claim focuses on how the council has handled its planning application, for up to 2,000 homes plus a raft of other facilities near Ponteland, but the authority has denied any wrongdoing.

A company spokesman said: “Lugano Dissington Estate Ltd is not in administration. The terms of a funding agreement are being renegotiated, but this has no impact whatsoever on the business or its operations.”

It appears the source of the rumours is that fixed charge receivers have been appointed for the Estate, with letters going out to tenants to inform them of this.

The letters tell the tenants that the receivers are effectively the landlords now and rent should be paid to them rather than to Lugano Dissington Estate or its agent.

Lugano chairman, Richard Robson, said: “The letters issued to tenants of the Estate relate to a loan arrangement between Lugano and our lenders.

“The correspondence is as a result of the lender calling in a technical clause on the loan document and discussions are ongoing relating to the longer-term re-financing of the Estate.

“It is important to emphasise that this has no material bearing on our ability or determination to pursue our case against the individuals on whom we have served proceedings.

“Indeed, the only likely impact will be to increase the associated damages claim against the parties concerned.

“Lugano Dissington Estate continues as the entity leading in relation to both the Garden Village project and the legal proceedings.”

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service