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Hampstead homeowners sue property developers for £3 million delay

A millionaire couple has appeared in court accusing the developers of their new build property of going over budget by some £3 million.

The couple, Stuart and Naomi Russell, bought a plot of land near Hampstead Heath in north London more than a decade ago.

They employed the services of property developers Peter and Linda Stone, who were instructed to manage the project estimated to cost around £2 million and take less than a year to complete.

Both couples have appeared in court accusing and counter-accusing one another over who was to blame for the ultimate delay and significant overspend.

Mr and Mrs Stone have told the court that the Russells wasted money and caused delays by burying their head in the sand over minor interior details, such as door handles, toilet roll holders and ironmongery.

But Mr Russell says the Stones’ “failures” and “lack of foresight” caused them to spend significantly more on their property.

He added that taking time to reach decisions in the interiors was justified by the unique and complex nature of their new home.

The Russells are suing the Stones for £1.8 million plus interest for their part in the delays.

The barrister acting on behalf of Mr and Mrs Russell said: “These are losses that have been caused by PSP’s failure to carry out its project manager, contract administrator and quantity surveying role.

“In essence, the Russells claim that, by reason of its failures, PSP caused them to spend significantly more on their property than they would have had to had the project management, contract administration and quantity surveying role been properly performed.”

The house itself is described as a “bespoke modern residential property”, with four bedrooms spread over three floors.

The couple bought the plot for £3.65 million in August 2006 and is said to have cost around £5 million to complete. The house was valued by online market platform Zoopla at £8 million.

The hearing is ongoing.

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ELS Legal is an international law firm based in London with more than 50 partner offices across the world. As part of the Cathay Associates global legal network, we are the first choice law firm for a number of British businesses and overseas clients.

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