Litigation Writs 2/6/98

Legal pressure is mounting on the Government in respect of the acquisition of land for the Channel Tunnel. In the wake of writs already issued, three new High Court writs have been issued against the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. In one, the Channel Tunnel Group and France-Manche Societe Anonyme, both of Folkestone, Kent, are suing for compensation and damages for alleged breach of agreement in respect of occupation of thousands of square metres of land at Dover which was required for the A20 works. In a second writ, the two companies are seeking compensation in respect of the compulsory acquisition by the Secretary of State of 53 plots of land for the A20 London Folkestone Dover trunk road. They are seeking unlimited compensation in respect of value of the land taken, and alleged severance, injurious affection and disturbance. The third writ has been issued by Ashford-based Eurotunnel Developments which is separately seeking compensation in respect of compulsory acquisition of 51 plots for the A20 trunk road.

Writs all issued by Cameron McKenna.

The owners of a trawler, whose equipment became entangled with an oil pipeline, are being sued for damages of more than £117,000. Owners of the pipeline – Agip (UK), Fina Exploration, British Gas Exploration and Production, Lasmo North Sea, Murphy Petroleum and LL and E (UK), who trade as the T-Block Consortium – have issued a High Court writ against Mainprize Trawling Co of 28 Bagdale, Whitby, North Yorkshire, owners of the trawler, the Maggie M. They claim that the total cost of repairs ran to £117,756.

Writ issued by Sinclair Roche & Temperley, London.

Corby Borough Council is suing PL Construction of Corby for damages following a fire at a Corby community centre. Its writ says PL was awarded the £500,000 contract to build the centre, which opened in May 1993. However, in August 1993, fire badly damaged the roof of the main recreation hall. The writ alleges that the blaze was caused by damage to an electric cable by a spotlight, which it claims was installed in breach of contract and in contravention of electrical installation regulations. Repairs and fees are said to have run to £171,944.

Writ issued by Kennedys, London.