PETITION Milners Square To the Liquidator of Laragan Developments Laragan Homes, a member of the Hanly Group, is committed to the provision of quality homes. It is their business practice to set standards for others to follow. In November 2005 Hooke & McDonald released phase 1 of Milners Square, a complex of six blocks (A to F) by Laragan Homes described in the brochure and website as: A superb new modern apartment development in Santry, close to all of its superb local amenities. Milners Square will also be one of the first and finest developments in the world to facilitate a truly smart home. The units were to feature an Alno kitchen by McNally Kitchens, wiring by Smart Homes and windows by Velfac. In addition, the brochure referred to: A high standard of landscaping and planting in the external communal areas. A management company to ensure that the high standards of the development continue into the future. Phase 2 of this state of the art living experience was released in April 2006. An article in the Sunday Business Post of May 7, 2006 stated that the units in this phase would be ready for occupancy in spring 2007. Completion periods in the contracts were of 18 or 24 months, giving completion dates (depending on the date contract was signed) in February 2007, May 2007, August 2008 (Block C), December 2007 (Block D) and September 2007 (Blocks E and F). The Contractor shall complete the Works and make same fit for habitation and use (vacating Site and clearing away scaffolding, unused materials and rubbish therefrom) within 18 calendar months from the date hereof (from Contract of Sale). The first residents did not move into Block F (not fully completed) until August 2008. Laragan regularly informed buyers of delays in completion. The date for Block E was postponed from September 2007 to June/July 2008 then January 2009. In March 2009 when Laragan was placed in examinership, Block E had still not been completed. Similar problems of completion occurred in two other Laragan developments, Belfry Hall and Carrickmines Green. In January 2007 a forum was set up on neighbours.ie where buyers shared information and opinions about the progress of Milners Square, complained about the delays and expressed concern for the future of the development. On 24 November 2007 the Irish Independent reported that McCabe builders had brought legal proceedings against Sagamu Developments Ltd, Laragan Developments Ltd and Hanly Group Ltd. over the construction of a housing scheme in Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow. The Revenue Commissioners fined Laragan Developments 55,586 euros for underdeclaration of corporation tax and VAT of 58,802 in the fourth quarter of 2002. In April 2008 a group of aggrieved buyers was formed and held regular meetings. By June 2009 there were 40 members. Examination of the Laragan 2007 Annual Report by a member revealed that the company was in a precarious financial position long before the downturn. 9.4 million of accumulated losses 11.6 million debtors 72 million stocks 64 million work in progress Creditors falling due within 1 year = 43 million Creditors falling due after 1 year = 55 million On 5 July 2008 the Sunday Times reported on the difficulties of Laragan: Laragan Developments, a subsidiary of the Hanly Group responsible for the Milner's Square development, is also facing High Court actions... A Hanly spokesman said the amount of litigation facing the group was linked to the economic downturn... As well as facing delays to the completion of its 300-apartment development in Santry, the company has missed completion deadlines on a 254-unit project in Carrickmines Green, Dublin... In the case of Milner's Square, the vast majority of the site was pre-sold prior to construction and those units purchased in summer 2006 are currently closing and will continue to do so over the coming weeks, said the spokesman. The developer is compliant with the contract parameters signed by purchasers and as such the return of deposits is not an issue at this time. In October 2008, some completion notices were sent out for Block E, but nobody took possession of any of the units. On 15 March, 2009 the Sunday Times reported that: Laragan Developments, part of the Roscommon-based Hanly Group, has filed more than 40 High Court cases against buyers who refuse to complete on contracts. On the same date, the Sunday Business Post reported that: VKR Holdings, through its Dublin subsidiary, Velfac Ireland, claims that it is owed a significant amount of money by Laragan, and is seeking to liquidate the company in an effort to recover the debt. On 29 March 2009, the Sunday Business Post reported that: Laragan Developments... has gone into examinership with debts of almost 75 million... Laragan petitioned the High Court late last Friday for court protection after running into major cashflow problems. In July 2009 a Scheme of Arrangement was put to the High Court whereby buyers in Blocks A, B, C and D would receive a 1% refund of their deposits and an opportunity to rescind their contracts. Buyers in Blocks E and F would apparently have their contracts enforced. The High Court rejected the scheme. After almost 4 years Milners Square consists of one completed block (F) with only some units occupied, a partially completed unoccupied block (E) and a building site, the future of which is uncertain. Buyers who paid a 15,000 euro deposit for apartments that were to have been completed in February 2007 should not lose their money. We, the buyers of units in Milners Square, hereby demand the refund of our deposits due to the breach of contract by Laragan Developments.