A building firm behind a £24million development of executive flats in Birmingham has gone bust – leaving struggling contractors out of pocket.
The boss of a plastering company has told how he is owed £220,000 from White Fire Developments after work ground to a halt on the apartments in Sheldon. It is believed that plumbers, electricians and carpenters who have been working for more than a year on the 140-home Horizon site are waiting for up to £2million.
Mark Kelsey, director of Wolverhampton-based Roseville Plastering, said he had not received any cash for months and claimed other contractors were in the same boat. The development’s website boasts that it was set to become a new landmark on the A45 Coventry Road, with the seven-storey block sitting surrounded by tropical gardens and topped with a stunning three-bedroom penthouse suite.
But the project appears to have become the latest victim of banks’ reluctance to lend cash. Yesterday, White Fire director Richard Whiteley confirmed the business was in the process of appointing administrators but did not want to comment further.
The firm were being backed by Bank of Scotland until they cancelled funding earlier this month.
Mr Kelsey said: “We knew that White Fire was having problems getting cash before Christmas because they told us, but this was a bit out of the blue. We were given assurances that the scheme was being backed by the bank and gave them a discounted rate on that basis.
“I have got no issue with the way White Fire have operated and they have kept us informed but it seems the banks are acting in a very cynical manner.
“Horizon wasn’t far off being finished and what you are left with now is a complete white elephant.”
Apartments were being marketed at professionals and commuters, with the proximity to Birmingham International Airport one of the main selling points.
Property website Savills is advertising one-bed flats from £117,000 and two-bed flats from £157,000.
White Fire was also responsible for the £14million Ansty Court development on Caroline Street in the Jewellery Quarter which includes 14 commercial units and 67 flats.
Although residents have moved in to Ansty Court, it is understood that the building work is not yet completed.