Peak Ecology accuses Corporation Properties of failing to pay for Wrotham site surveys

A firm of ecological consultants is heading for a legal battle with the owners of a controversial development site in Kent.

Peak Ecology has accused site owners Corporation Properties of failing to pay for surveys on the site of its planned hotel in Wrotham.

The Derbyshire-based firm, which carries out ecological surveys, is suing Jersey company Corporation Properties for more than £42,000 plus interest.

Corporation Properties wishes to build a 139-bedroom hotel, with leisure and conference facilities, as well as a large car park at a former nightclub site in Wrotham.

However, the scheme has attracted huge amounts of local opposition, and the local parish council has resolved to fight the plans by hiring a lawyer.

Planning permission was granted for a 112-bedroom hotel on the 3.5 hectare site in 2001, and Corporation Properties argues that this permission is still existing - a claim which the parish council deny. District planners have received documents saying that the permission still exists because foundation trenches have been put in.

The site has a complex planning history dating back to 1989, when plans for a hotel and large supermarket were turned down.

Peak Ecology has a team of 10 professional ecologists who work across the UK for clients including government agencies, public bodies, architects, and planning consultants.

Peak Ecology says it sent two invoices of over £42,000 to Corporation Properties in July and November 2007, which should have been paid within 30 days. The High Court writ claims the money is outstanding.