FORMER Tory fund-raiser Sir Jack Harvie’s company faces legal action over homes built on contaminated land more than 14 years ago.
Harvie’s housebuilding firm, City Link Development Company, has been implicated in a lawsuit on behalf of 43 families which claims it built affordable houses on former industrial land that it failed to clear of hazardous chemicals.
Collins Solicitors has launched an initial “test case” against Lanarkshire Housing Association on behalf of a family of former residents of Watling Street in Motherwell alleged to have been made ill by dangerous chemicals in the soil where their home was built. But the solicitors have outlined their case to three further potential defendants, including City Link.
Scotland on Sunday has seen a letter sent to Harvie which claims City Link built properties for the housing association on land that several tests showed were contaminated. Following initial contact the company has the chance to settle over the next few weeks but is considered unlikely to do so. Des Collins, who is leading the suit for damages, says City Link has effectively told him to “bugger off”.
Collins said: “We have issued proceedings in this test case. We hope, as a result, that over the next couple of weeks the other defendants will see common sense and join with us in making a proportionate and pragmatic approach. If they don’t, City Link will find itself on the receiving end of proceedings within the next four five weeks.”
Harvie, 75, recently retired from organising the Scottish Conservatives’ annual Focus on Scotland fund-raising dinners attended by a number of party leaders.
His company has applied to Companies House to delay the publication of 2011 accounts for both City Link and its parent company, CBC Construction & Property Group. The companies have been given a nine-month extension.
In the last available accounts for the year ending 30 September 2010, turnover at CBC fell from £62.6m to £33.2m and profits fell to just £968,000 from £2.6m.
Neither Harvie nor directors of City Link were available for comment.
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