�122m plans for city development in doubt

Ambitious plans to breathe new life into a former industrial estate in Norwich have been thrown into doubt by the site owner going into administration – but council chiefs today called on other developers to step into the breach should it not go-ahead.

Targetfollow Property Investment and Development (TPID) became the second subsidiary of the Norwich-based Targetfollow Group to go into administration yesterday<28>.

TPID was behind the planned �122m Harford Place development off Hall Road in the south of the city, which includes homes and a new Asda supermarket.

The administrators to TPID have not yet been announced but fears are growing that it could lead to cancellation or a postponement of the project, which also includes shops, restaurants, cafes, leisure accommodation, offices and a hotel.

Norwich City Council's deputy leader Brenda Arthur said: 'We are really sorry to hear the news. We are living in tough times and in my view it won't be the only company to go under given the pressures we are all under.

'But there are some really good development opportunities in the city, and I hope there are other developers out there. Maybe the administrators can link up with some of them and they could step into the breach.'

Lakenham city councillor Keith Driver said: 'I hope the company will survive. We need that kind of investment in Lakenham. It would be a shame if nothing went ahead, and hopefully another developer could take it over if Targetfollow can't.'

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As reported, Targetfollow had started action to clear the former Bally Shoes site for development, and said building work could start by the end of this year.

But these plans were thrown into doubt when the High Court in London on Wednesday allowed Lloyds Banking Group to appoint Deloitte as administrators to Targetfollow Property Holdings Ltd (TPH), a holding company within the Targetfollow group.

The firm, which also had outline plans for a �60m development of Dukes Wharf in the city, is based in Riverside Road in the city centre, and owns a national portfolio of properties worth hundreds of millions of pounds, including London's Centre Point.

Targetfollow Estates Ltd, the management company which employs the group's staff, is unaffected by the administration, and the 90 jobs in the city are not believed to be under threat, a spokesman said.

Earlier this week the Evening News revealed that a consortium of investors pledged �150m to write off a portion of the company's �700m debt to Lloyds Banking Group and enable it to continue trading.

<t> Do you know if another development in the city is in doubt? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 774227 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.