A billionaire was forced to pay £237,000 to his neighbors when his The mansion’s expanse exceeds 18 inches on his land, which has won a court battle to win the cash back.
Alex McPhail, 55, was sued by web entrepreneur Tom Gutterbock and his wife Helen after the couple claimed they staged a secret “land grab” in the affluent Wandsworth of the Southwest. London,
Mr. McPhail separated their houses by creating a basement room, which stretched a foot and a half below the boundary – Gatorbox accused him of “trespass”.
The pair demanded that he fill some of their basement and partially demolish their above ground home to separate the two properties.
after a number of legal hearingsMr. McPhail had £530,000 left in his pocket.
He paid £237,000 in damages to his neighbors and was forced to withhold court costs of £283,000.
But another court has now backed Mr McPhail – and says the developer of his house, Henderson Court Ltd (HCL), should be responsible for covering up his. complete loss.
Judge Nicholas Parfitt said the disastrous construction project was “not successful”, and it was the company’s responsibility to ensure that the project complies with planning permission regulations.
Judge Parfitt said, “HCL acted without the skill and care expected of a proper contractor and failed to build the property in a good and working manner.”
The Central London County Court had previously heard that Mr McPhail’s £4million house was built between 2015 and 2018 on one of the most sought-after streets in the area.
The former commodities broker, who now works as a motivational speaker, invested £2.5m to buy a plot of land across the street.
But Web and app developer Mr Gutterbock, 53 – the son of Labor peer Anthony Gutterbock – later objected when he and his wife realized their new neighbor’s house had been built closer to theirs.
This meant that the path between the properties was narrowed to less than three feet, making it difficult to access their back garden.
Meanwhile, although planning permission was granted for a basement below the house, builders extended it down the street and under the wall of their house.
Shortly before the hearing of the case, Mr. McPhail agreed to a settlement.
But he continued to argue that the developers were to blame for his loss.
Judge Parfitt has now found that HCL must pay as it was responsible for obtaining freehold, securing planning permission, paying contractors and borrowing money for construction work.
“The overwhelming conclusion on the evidence is that HCL carried out the tasks and it was only once those tasks were completed that it potentially became entitled to a final payment from Mr. McPhail,” he said.
“On the prevailing facts, HCL was liable for trespass because… [the Gueterbocks’ house],