Developers Ross River and Blue River try to stop club renewing tenancy on land earmarked for 200 homes
Property developers Ross River and Blue River have kicked off a legal row with Cambridge City Football Club over the club’s controversial playing field.
This is the latest move in a long running dispute over the ground, which the club sold to Ross River for £1.3m and a half share of overage – increase in the ground’s value when developed - in 2004.
In financial difficulties, the club then sold its overage to Ross River for £900,000 after Ross River’s development manager Paul Harney made a £10,000 payment to the club’s managing director.
Litigation followed, and the High Court gave the club permission to rescind the overage agreement, allowing the club to benefit from the increased value from redevelopment, but not the original sale. Currently there are plans to build 200 homes on the site.
This is the latest move in a long running dispute over the ground, which the club sold to Ross River for £1.3 million and a half share of overage
The judge also ruled that Paul Harney’s payment to the managing director amounted to bribery, and in a stinging judgment said that he “wriggled and evaded with imagination but without candour”.
Both sides appealed against the judgment but the Court of Appeal threw out both appeals.
Now Ross River, which leases the ground back to the club, is seeking a declaration that the lease dated 29 April 2005 is excluded from the provisions of part 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, as amended. This would prevent the club from applying for a new tenancy of the ground when the existing lease runs out.
The club took a two year lease of the ground, paying around £70,000 a year.