Leeds Lumière is scrapped

Hundreds of investors in the doomed Lumière skyscraper project look like finally getting their money back.

It is thought that, contrary to previous reports, all 952 flats in the 225m twin towers development had been sold ahead of building work starting.

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But within months of work beginning in December 2007, the economy nosedived and construction on the site in Wellington Street was halted.

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Since then the plot has stood empty and the deposits taken from buyers have been frozen.

However, it has now emerged that developers Lumire LP is applying for the company to be voluntarily liquidated.

The move – which will need to be approved at a meeting of creditors next month – will mean those who bought flats off-plan can finally seek their money back.

The refunds will come from an insurance policy underwritten by Zurich, which was set up at the time the flats were sold to protect buyers should the developers collapse.

In a statement, Lumire LP said: "The Lumire development on Wellington Street in Leeds, like many regeneration projects across the UK, has suffered from the effects of the worldwide recession.

"The development is no longer commercially viable and regretfully, despite the strenuous efforts of Lumire LP's directors and partners, the decision has been taken to hold a creditors meeting ... to begin the process of liquidating the assets.

"Lumire LP believes this is the best course of action for buyers who have reserved apartments off-plan at the development."

Financial consultants, Deloitte has been appointed as the prospective liquidator. It will be its job to try to secure the best possible price for the site to ensure a return for outstanding creditors.

Standing at 54 and 32 storeys, the Lumire towers would have made the development the tallest in the north of England.

Their ground-breaking design saw all of them snapped up, before even a brick was laid.

James Naylor, a senior associate at the law firm Lupton Fawcett, is representing many of the buyers.

He said that voluntary liquidation was the best possible result for those out of pocket.

He told the YEP: "We have been pushing for this and everyone is very pleased that it has finally happened.

"It means the contracts with the buyers will officially be torn up and they can begin the process of reclaiming their money.

"Lumire LP says it expects the insurers to pay out."

The creditors' meeting will be held in London on September 1.