Offshore Capitalist

Land-banking directors banned for 12 years

Hambrook & Greenstock, a Swiss-based company, sold plots of greenfield land in Sible Hedingham, Essex, Marlow, Bucks, and Chalford, Glos, with the understanding that planning permission had been obtained. The company bought the land for £600,000 before splitting it into 750 plots and selling it on for £5m.

After it was revealed that the land had never been granted planning permission, former directors Andres Schenker and Claudia Daxelhoffer were disqualified as directors for 12 years.

The plots have remained undeveloped as greenfield sites. Hambrook & Greenstock is now in liquidation.

Ian Lucas, the business minister, said: “This sends a strong message to company directors: we will investigate and take firm action against you. Investors should also be wary of any land-banking or other schemes which promise huge profits for little outlay. To use the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

The Telegraph first warned about the dangers of buying land in 2004. In 2007 we wrote: “This is a highly speculative and largely unregulated market. The risks are enormous and the entry fee is high … it is easy to see why many people are as likely to lose their money in the stampede as they are to pocket a small fortune.”

via Land-banking directors banned for 12 years – Telegraph.

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