Couple Adrian and Lisa Powell are suing the sellers of a country home for failing to tell them of plans for a diner and motel just down the road. Having searched for six years Adrian and Lisa felt certain they had found their dream home in the barn conversion near Buckland.
Only after they had exchanged contracts with sellers Philip Ash, 66, and his wife Elisabeth, 62, were they horrified to learn of plans for Mollie’s Motel and Diner.
At Central London County Court, Mrs Powell gave evidence stating that the Ashes had confirmed in their sellers’ questionnaire that they did not know of any nearby development that might affect Lake Barn, which sits on the bank of a lake on a former dairy farm. It was only after Contracts had been exchanged that the Powells learnt of the plans for Mollies Motel and Diner which was a redevelopment of the former Little Chef on the nearby A420. With 79 rooms the motel and diner has since been built by the owners of Soho House.
The Powells barrister, Ewan Paton, said his clients were entitled to a refund of their £108,000 deposit and to tear up the contract. He added that they were also due compensation of more than £200,000, having spent money in connection with the aborted purchase, including buying new furniture and a horse.
At the time the Ashes filled in the questionnaire, they did not consider that the development would affect their home, as the motel is not visible from the barn itself, only from the paddock, and they believed the form they were filling in only applied to the house, the Ashes barrister Ms Creer stated.
The Ashes claim the Powells rescinded the contract, for non-completion, and therefore the £108,000 deposit should be forfeit. They also charge that the Powells’ claim is excessive as it was their own poor judgement that led to them buying a horse and furniture before the sale Completed.
The case continues.