Administrators believe £1 million will never be repaid

Essex County Standard: Stephen, Kate and Ben Bunting at Westwood Park Stephen, Kate and Ben Bunting at Westwood Park

CREDITORS owed money by Colchester business Bunting and Sons may never get it back.

A report by administrators Deloitte for the High Court of Justice states there is “no prospect” unsecured creditors will get their money back – a total of nearly £1million.

London-based financial experts Deloitte were called in by the banks to handle the affairs of Bunting and Sons in October.

The banks included RBS, from where the Buntings had taken out a £10million loan, plus had a £2.5million overdraft.

The landowners blamed the protracted planning bid for the controversial visitor centre at Horkesley Park for its demise.

Unaudited accounts for the year ending October 2011 showed the firm, one of the oldest in Colchester, had more than £14million in bank loans.

In the report at the court, Bunting and Sons estimates its assets – including Westwood Park and Horkesley Park – are now only worth about £5million.

The administrators’ report also states they do not expect the banks to be repaid in full. They are now trying to sell the assets as going concerns and expect this to be done within a year.

The report details how Bunting and Sons had tried to survive the financial crisis two years ago.

It says the firm recognised its position was unsustainable in December 2011, and prepared an action plan for RBS, including selling assets to repay the debt.

In February last year, the firm sold the Anchor Inn, in Nayland, followed by the Thrift Barns and farmland, in Horkesley, in August last year, and Thrift farmhouse in September last year.

Carter’s Vineyards, in Boxted, was sold in March.

But its plans for the Stour Valley Visitor Centre, at Horkesley Park, were rejected by Colchester Council after a heated debate.

The bank asked for proof from the Bunting whether it had secured investment from a third party, or reassurances someone would buy the Horkesley Park site by the end of May. However, no such commitment was secured. They appealed against the council’s decision and approached a third party to help finance the challenge. The bank asked for this funding to be provided by the end of September, but no agreement was reached.

The planning appeal started on October 1, but on October 7, the bank submitted an application for the firmto go into administration.

Partner Stephen Bunting said: “We are extremely saddened and deeply regret the position. We are continuing to work with the bank’s administrators to achieve the best possible outcome.”

Comments (5)

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8:40am Thu 5 Dec 13

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Well what do you expect from a family of Shysters.

I suppose they have already ring fenced their personal finances and all losses are tied up in a Limited Company which leave them free to go out and do it again, under the protection of company law.

Any thoughts for your creditors Buntings..........No
, thought not!
Well what do you expect from a family of Shysters. I suppose they have already ring fenced their personal finances and all losses are tied up in a Limited Company which leave them free to go out and do it again, under the protection of company law. Any thoughts for your creditors Buntings..........No , thought not! Say It As It Is OK?

9:13am Thu 5 Dec 13

totallyfootball says...

RBS should be withdrawn from the banking world, they are a national liability, will they be seizing everything the Buntings have?
RBS should be withdrawn from the banking world, they are a national liability, will they be seizing everything the Buntings have? totallyfootball

9:39am Thu 5 Dec 13

seikothrill says...

May be their family financial crisis would not have occurred had the council approved their plans.

Now, due to the council their creditors are losing £1 million.

I criticize the council as every other planning application for houses has been approved yet Buntings World wasn't. Makes me wonder whether Bunting's didn't offer councillors enough incentives like housing developers!!
May be their family financial crisis would not have occurred had the council approved their plans. Now, due to the council their creditors are losing £1 million. I criticize the council as every other planning application for houses has been approved yet Buntings World wasn't. Makes me wonder whether Bunting's didn't offer councillors enough incentives like housing developers!! seikothrill

9:43am Thu 5 Dec 13

totallyfootball says...

seikothrill wrote:
May be their family financial crisis would not have occurred had the council approved their plans.

Now, due to the council their creditors are losing £1 million.

I criticize the council as every other planning application for houses has been approved yet Buntings World wasn't. Makes me wonder whether Bunting's didn't offer councillors enough incentives like housing developers!!
Are you sure, if they have this much debt how were they ever going to build Essex's answer to Disneyland? What I want to know is where has all this alleged money that the bank lent them gone, seems enough to pay everyone off or have they blown that too?
[quote][p][bold]seikothrill[/bold] wrote: May be their family financial crisis would not have occurred had the council approved their plans. Now, due to the council their creditors are losing £1 million. I criticize the council as every other planning application for houses has been approved yet Buntings World wasn't. Makes me wonder whether Bunting's didn't offer councillors enough incentives like housing developers!![/p][/quote]Are you sure, if they have this much debt how were they ever going to build Essex's answer to Disneyland? What I want to know is where has all this alleged money that the bank lent them gone, seems enough to pay everyone off or have they blown that too? totallyfootball

9:48am Thu 5 Dec 13

seikothrill says...

totallyfootball wrote:
seikothrill wrote:
May be their family financial crisis would not have occurred had the council approved their plans.

Now, due to the council their creditors are losing £1 million.

I criticize the council as every other planning application for houses has been approved yet Buntings World wasn't. Makes me wonder whether Bunting's didn't offer councillors enough incentives like housing developers!!
Are you sure, if they have this much debt how were they ever going to build Essex's answer to Disneyland? What I want to know is where has all this alleged money that the bank lent them gone, seems enough to pay everyone off or have they blown that too?
I bet they threw all their'eggs in one basket' and were relying too much on planning permission and then future Chinese Investment.

I deplore what has happened but like a previous comment I bet they do not suffer a financial meltdown personally.

I too would love to know what has happened to the RBS money.
[quote][p][bold]totallyfootball[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]seikothrill[/bold] wrote: May be their family financial crisis would not have occurred had the council approved their plans. Now, due to the council their creditors are losing £1 million. I criticize the council as every other planning application for houses has been approved yet Buntings World wasn't. Makes me wonder whether Bunting's didn't offer councillors enough incentives like housing developers!![/p][/quote]Are you sure, if they have this much debt how were they ever going to build Essex's answer to Disneyland? What I want to know is where has all this alleged money that the bank lent them gone, seems enough to pay everyone off or have they blown that too?[/p][/quote]I bet they threw all their'eggs in one basket' and were relying too much on planning permission and then future Chinese Investment. I deplore what has happened but like a previous comment I bet they do not suffer a financial meltdown personally. I too would love to know what has happened to the RBS money. seikothrill

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