Sunday 15 December 2013

Fortfield Hotel ... to ... Sanditon apartments: ............................. the 'issues' are opened up again...

The contractor at the Sanditon development has been declared bankrupt:
Winsham building firm folds just before Christmas (From Chard & Ilminster News)
Welcome to KDJ Slade & Sons - Site Under Construction - KDJ Slade & Sons

Here is a recent thread from Streetlife:

Sanditon (was Fortfield Hotel) builder gone bankrupt

I see that KDJ Slade, the Sanditon main contractor, went bankrupt two days after the Estate Agent's Open Day. I pity the poor subcontractors who probably haven't been paid. i understand that the car park gates were quickly removed by a sub-contractor who hadn't been paid for them. Since they are now back in place, I assume someone has now paid up. Presumably the 24-hour security guards and dog handlers are to try and prevent other sub-contractors doing the same thing. The creditors meeting is in Ilminster on 11th December.


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Pining Lass 

Oh dear.

So many poor people will be caught up in this and it may be the last straw for some small businesses.

What a terrible situation.

Tom's best friend 

I've just been told that today there was a fracas as a sub-contractor came to remove part of the heating system for which he hadn't been paid. I wonder what the people will do who have already moved in.

Pining Lass 

I do feel sorry for everyone involved in this.

Fancy having moved in to a flat with 'all mod cons' and then finding you are struggling, over Christmas as well, with no heating.

Surely the financial failure in this case must make the EDDC think twice about the market for expensive accommodation in Sidmouth? I do hope someone points out to the Inspector for the Local Plan that the intention to replace employment use with residential use at the Knowle should be rethought (again) in the light of this bankruptcy.

Purple Rinse 

Would every contractor involved in 'expensive' accommodation necessarily go bust on completion of every project? I really cannot see the analogy.
The Knowle area would be a lovely place to live. Indeed the present residents seem to think so.


PR  The Sanditon area is also a lovely place to live. But what on earth has that to do with developers going bust? Probably by going bust they can avoid paying EDDC the premium they were supposed to pay for turning hotel accomodation into homes. So yet again the local community looses out. Or did EDDC insist on money up front - I know I would. But then again that would be my money, what do EDDC care for OUR money?

Pining Lass 

Oh dear, I think you have failed to follow my train of thought PR.

The contractor MAY have gone bust due to the fact that only about half of the flats have been sold. Usually not managing to sell what you have made causes cash flow problems.

If you can't sell expensive accommodation then there seems little incentive to build it, so I would have thought that the fact that Sanditon is half empty would make people think twice about creating more of the same.

Sanditon is very convenient for town, has a quiet location, etc,etc, and may be considered at least as desirable a place to live as the Knowle area. The one advantage the houses in the Knowle application had were very small gardens, were they going to aim these houses at families? What families can afford 'exclusive' accommodation.

Perhaps you have to have worked at running your own business to be able to comprehend the importance of a market for your products!

Purple Rinse 

Yes I think I must have PL - still never mind. You can only speculate at the moment.

Hasn't it been mentioned that the main contractor went bust hibou - not the developer? The developers are  called Zero C or something and they are the ones who are going to have to stump up the sheckles.

Tom's best friend 

Yes, PR you are right. It is the builder/contractor who has gone bust (it's reported in various Somerset papers). Some of the poor subcontractors are owed sums varying from £30,000 up to £100,000 by KDJ Slade apparently. It seems to be the finishing trades that are bearing the brunt of things. So the flooring contractor is owed £100k, the decorator £60k and the landscaper quite a lot. Since KDJ Slade mostly used Taunton and Chard-based sub-contractors, then Sidmouth businesses may have been spared, but Martin & Lane carpets of Sidmouth have been there a lot, so perhaps they have got caught up in the debacle.
I don't know the law when buying new flats, but several people seem to have moved in before KDJ Slade left the site, so whether they are secure or not goodness knows. I suppose it depends on the "Design & Build" contract that Slade had with ZeroC as to which of ZeroC or the Administrator of KDJ Slade's insolvency now has control of Sanditon flats to sell.

Pining Lass 

So, is it KDJ Slade who have gone bankrupt because of ZeroC not being able to sell the apartments and pay them? Or is the bankruptcy not related to Sanditon but to general business circumstances?

I don't expect anyone to know the answer :-)

Whatever, I still think it is a sign of EDDC's lack of business experience which leads them to imagine a demand which does not appear to exist.

I do hope Martin and Lane are not destroyed by this, they have done carpets for us and I have found them friendly and reliable; and it is a family business.

Pining Lass 

I have just been and checked the Sanditon site to see how many are still unsold.

Of 30 apartments there are 10 unsold and 3 reserved; unless they are making a 30%+
 profit then there must be financial problems in there.

I know interest rates are very low but again it comes down to cash flow.

Little Weed 

The contractors were a long established firm.

The problems will be snagging and if they decided to cut corners when money became tight.  Correcting faults and snags -  that all new homes have.

Shame because people are going to loose jobs and firms loose money and the knock on effect.

I am sure it will be alright in the end like Belvedere Court.  I think those flats look good.  Similar thing arose.

Purple Rinse 

I cannot see how EDDC can be blamed for a contractor claiming bankruptcy on the basis of the councils'  'business experience' or lack of. The developer evidently made a good enough case in the planning application and eventually obtained the necessary consents. I wouldn't imagine anyone currently on this forum would have any idea of the figures involved or the intricasies of the contracts.
I find this twisting of speculation remarkable in trying to lay the blame at the feet of the district council.

Little Weed 

Purple Rinse

This development has been beset with problems from the start to finish.


Purple Rinse 

So you think, Little Weed, that these problems could have led to the main contractor getting into financial difficulty? What were the problems incidentally?

Pining Lass 

No PR.

I think that the lack of demand which is shown by the apartments not selling should be considered by the EDDC when deciding that Sidmouth needs more housing in the 'expensive' category.

Nowhere have I stated or implied that the EDDC are in any way implicated in Slade's bankruptcy; that would clearly be a stupid thing to think.

Purple Rinse 

It may be that they did consider that PL but they would have also considered the benefit of such a development compared to the dangerous derelict wreck of a building that was there at the time of the application.

It may well be the case that all the apartments will sell by the middle of next year, when viewers are attracted by the better weather.

Who knows?

We can only speculate ...................

Streetlife | Sanditon (was Fortfield Hotel) builder gone bankrupt | Page 1


Ferris Bueller said...

I work for a company who has been caught up in this, and I will not name or go into too many details, but it would seem that it was not necessarily this development that has caused the issue. Lets just say something more crafty and sinister has taken place here!

Jo said...

Hi Ferris
I'm interested in your comment. Do you know how much KDJ Slade owed to Sanditon subcontractors at bankruptcy? Did KDJ Slade get paid their completion payment from ZeroC Holdings for Sanditon? What is Lee Slade doing now? Any non-libellous information you can pass on would be helpful.