Locarno confusion

It is perhaps not entirely surprising that there is some confusion over what is happening to the Locarno and its developers. The developers are referred to as ‘Bach Homes’ and reported as in administration or in liquidation. Like many companies getting in financial difficulty, the holdings of Bach Homes (Holdings) Ltd were more numerous than would seem to befit a company of its small size. Nothing, mind, that a journalist couldn’t have sorted out with a little use of Google, the Companies House directory and the notices in the London Gazette. It seems though that our local journalists haven’t looked far beyond the moribund websites of the Locarno development and Bach Homes (Holdings) Ltd, neither of which seem to have been updated since late 2008. After ’phoning the company’s former head office and getting no reply, they say they did try a search.

An online search for the company threw up a page from newhomesforsale.co.uk saying that the Locarno homes development was closed. It read: “This development is closed and no longer available. This page is here for historical reference only.”

Well, yes, but how about looking a little further?

A quick search of the London Gazette notices reveals a winding up petition for Bach Homes (Holdings) Ltd in September last year, and that the same company was placed in administration in October, the administrator being Harrisons of Reading. So far, so simple.

A search in the Companies House directory for ‘Bach Homes’ reveals eight companies with similar names that are or were recently active. Of those, three are of immediate interest.

  • Bach Homes Holdings Limited: status ‘In Administration’; registered address the same as their administrator, Harrisons.
  • Bach Homes (Swindon) Limited: status ‘Active – proposal to strike off’; registered address in Uffcott at the former registered address of Bach Homes (Holdings) Limited.
  • Bach Homes (Locarno) Limited: status ‘Active’; registered address in Shutford near Banbury and the same as Malachi Limited.

Also of relevance is

  • Mozart Construction Ltd: status ‘Liquidation’, address also in Uffcott at the former registered address of Bach Homes (Holdings) Limited. The company was called ‘Bach Construction Ltd’ until 2006.

The Adver story correctly identifies Bach Homes (Swindon) Limited and Mozart Construction, which it links, as having ceased trading last year; but, as noted by Mr Mattock, it is the company associated with Malachi that now seems to own the development. According to the Adver,

Coun Mattock’s comments have caused more confusion.

The Adver’s journalists should consider doing rather more journalistic research before admitting their confusion in future. If one amateur can find all this information, why can’t a journalist with rather greater resources available to them?

What remains unclear is how capable are the developers — seemingly backed by a company new to property development — of starting the redevelopment of the Locarno in current economic conditions.