May 21 2013 Latest news:
Friday, January 25, 2013
CAN McCarthy & Stone be trusted?
Your readers may already be aware of its alleged sharp trading practices with people who thought they were buying into a stress free “later living” lifestyle.
Complaints about their part-exchange scheme were the subject of a Channel 4 Dispatches programme in September last year.
Anyone thinking of buying at the Croylands site, should it go ahead, would be well advised to do their research thoroughly before entering into a contract.
Cambridgeshire County Council probably also believed what McCarthy & Stone said in its letter offering to buy Croylands, written by senior land manager Chris Patterson.
The letter, written in November 2011 and obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, relates to the offer to purchase Croylands and contains specific terms under which their offer is made.
The letter states: “Our proposal has been carefully designed to incorporate the preserved trees on site and as such none should be lost due to the redevelopment of the property.”
Croylands is subject to three Tree Protection Orders, giving blanket protection to trees on the site, some of which are also specifically listed in the orders.
In stark contrast to the offer made to the county council, in the planning application recently submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council by McCarthy & Stone, it proposes to destroy 26 trees on the site, including some which are specifically listed in the orders.
Not quite what was suggested in the offer to the county council then.
Has McCarthy & Stone broken the law or any contractual terms? Probably not, either in the case of its residents elsewhere in the UK, or in the case of its dealings with the county council.
But its methods appear to be morally questionable and certainly, in my opinion, they are not to be trusted.