Thomas Anderson, the Irish-born owner of the Empire Cinemas business and other cinema related activities, was in the High Court in London this week trying to block the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation’s decision to appoint a receiver to a stalled development in Uxbridge Road, Ealing, West London.
Ealing Borough Council is frustrated with the time being taken since the Empire Cinema was demolished in 2009, to redevelop the site, and has threatened to use it's powers to compulsory purchase it. The Council has lined up Land Securities to take over the development and fearing that adequate compensation may not be forthcoming IBRC is looking to protect it's interests.
Behind the facade of the old building a £20 million complex featuring 16 screens, a restaurant and café over two floors was to be built.
The site has been left a boarded up derelict eyesore and thousands of people have signed a petition urging the company to get on with the project.
Thomas Anderson argued that he had been made the £27 million loan to his Jersey-based family trust. The terms were that the money was repayable upon demand, but a 10 year moratorium on interest payments Anderson argued made the Andersons’ trust company, Cinema Holdings 2 Ltd, and Irish Nationwide “effectively 50:50 partners”.
Anderson failed in his attempt to block the appointment but is to appeal. He clearly has not run out of funds for lawyers.