Work on the 14-flat Aston Court scheme in Lymington ground to a halt after the dispute over the height of the £7.5m project.
The developer run by Scott McCarthy – the son of John McCarthy, who co-founded retirement housing giant McCarthy & Stone – has now slipped into administration.
“He took a gamble that he could build something that he did not have the proper planning permission for and that failed,” Chris Elliott, chief planning officer at New Forest District Council told the New Milton Advertiser.
Scott & Lisa McCarthy Limited Liability Partnership (S&LMLLP) owns the land and is one of three involved in the project along with S&H Homes, which secured the planning permission, and For You Lifestyle Homes, which carried out the building work.
Dubbed ‘Rapunzel’s Tower’ by local residents, the initial plans were approved in 2006 but when the development team applied last year to get revised plans agreed after work had started, New Forest District Council (NFDC) refused.
An appeal was mooted but never materialized and with McCarthy refusing to back down, work stopped and administrators MCR have been called in to S&LMLLP.
McCarthy claimed that the delays had cost him £2.5m. After his company slipped into administration, McCarthy insisted that council officers had raised no objections during the building work.
MCR have submitted a planning application that would see the roof-line lowered by half a metre and some rooms removed but McCarthy is claiming copyright over the designs.