Northern housebuilder Strata Homes has fallen £7.4m into the red after land writedowns of £2.6m

In its latest accounts filed at Companies House, the Doncaster-based firm posted a 22% fall in turnover from £79.2m to £61.4m. It completed 391 homes, down a fifth on 2007.

Irving Weaver, the firm’s chair, said: “The business has changed significantly to protect the company while retaining a core team in order to react when market conditions improve. The focus is on cash generation, effecting modest gearing, reducing overhead and operating costs, together with limited investment in acquiring consented land.”

Debt fell from £40m to £37.8m at the end of 2008, but gearing (debt divided by equity) climbed from 109% to 127%.

In April, Strata renewed its borrowing facilities with Yorkshire Bank and, in a sign bankers have put housebuilders on a tighter leash, the lender cut its overdraft from £50m to £40m.

The pay of the highest paid director fell by nearly a quarter to £176,245 and, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, Weaver’s net worth fell by half to £46m in 2009. He dropped from 871st place to 1,198th.

Weaver set the company up in 1989 after entering the industry in 1969, when he joined the business his grandfather founded.