Gloucester council has issued a writ against three men for fraudulent misrepresentation.
The writ was taken out in the High Court against Michael Jacquiss, John Shardelow and Graham McMaster in the wake of a deal to construct a hotel for the Holiday Inn Group.

The writ states that in October 2000, the council agreed to transfer freehold of a car park in Westgate Street to Jacquiss.

Jacquiss said he was working with the Selsdon Group, which he claimed was a hotel developer that had previously worked for Holiday Inn. He said that he had the finance in place to develop the site.

Jacquiss also alleged that he was aided by Shardelow, as head of architecture at Selsdon, and McMaster, as head of the legal department.

The writ states that the council later discovered that Shardelow had no qualifications as an architect, that Jacquiss had been jailed for fraud and that the Selsdon Group did not exist when the original proposals were made.

Proposals to develop a hotel were submitted and the council agreed to pay a subsidy of £1.4m on completion, transferring the site to Selsdon in July 2001.

A council spokesperson said: "The case is in the hands of our solicitors and we are confident we will be successful." None of defendants was available for comment.