MP intervenes as administrators appointed to stricken housebuilder

How the houses at Little Stanion were meant to look

The MP for Corby and North Northamptonshire Tom Pursglove has intervened after administrators were confirmed at a housebuilder that has been working on an East Midlands scheme.

As exclusively revealed on April 29, administrators were appointed to look after the day-to-day running of JME Developments, the Corby-based firm which has been building a new housing estate at Little Stanion. Rachel Fowler Advisory was appointed after JME’s hand was forced by financing company Alternative Bridging Corporation.

JME Developments had been locked in a battle with North Northamptonshire Council over the final phase of the scheme, which would’ve seen a further 99 houses and a village hall built.

In October of last year, the council deferred a decision on the last phase of the scheme over whether or not to allow JME to waive a £2m payment. The developer wanted to alter its planning application to remove any mention of it paying £11,000 for every house at Little Stanion’s final phase which was sold back into the public purse.

JME also requested that the planning application drop the “Little Stanion up-lift sum” which would’ve contributed some 34% of additional house sale profits back into the community to fund the costs of a primary school.

At the time, JME said it was looking to finish the site in 2028 – nearly a decade later than originally planned.

In December, North Northamptonshire Council waived the £2m payment to allow the final phase to be built. However, the future of the site now remains unclear.

In March, a winding up petition was brought against JME by health and safety firm Ballycommon Services with support from fellow creditor, the builders’ merchant Huws Gray.

Pursglove says he has met with representatives of Little Stanion Parish Council and the Little Stanion Village Committee regarding their concerns about the future for the development – and has reported “two particularly big pillars on concern” for residents.

In an update, he said: “First, large parts of the development remain unfinished, including, for example, the village hall, which was due to be completed in line with Section 106 agreements. Understandably, residents are very concerned as to what will now happen with the remainder of the development and the obvious need to ensure its completion, particularly where essential infrastructure, including roads and pavements, remain unfinished.

“Moreover, residents are continuing to pay management fees, albeit to Little Stanion Farm Management Company – a separate entity – and so there are also understandable queries that require urgent clarification relating to that aspect, as well as questions from residents about the ownership of the land in the circumstances.”

Pursglove added: “I have requested important meetings with both the administrator and North Northamptonshire Council, for me, alongside representatives of Little Stanion Parish Council and the Little Stanion Village Committee, to try and fully understand the situation and potential ways forward, whilst also trying to help the residents obtain timely answers to the various legitimate questions they have.

“Likewise, I have also urgently raised the matter with the Secretary of State for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities, with a view to trying to obtain any relevant guidance or advice he can offer that might prove helpful in the circumstances.”

JME has been trading since 1972, according to its website.