Investors warned over Northamptonshire land connected to jailed conmen

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Investors are being warned by council officers that they cannot build on a plot of land in Northamptonshire that was at the centre of a £10 million fraud.

The site in Hulcote, near Towcester, is being sold by the liquidators of Matthew Noad and Clive Griston, who were jailed for conning people into investing in it and other plots with a view to huge profits when the land was developed.

But South Northants Council has warned that its policy is not to develop open countryside and any permission to build the land is highly unlikely to be granted.

A spokesman for the council said: “Investors are being warned that South Northamptonshire Council has made the land subject to an Article 4 Direction, which removes any right to build on the land, including the construction of a new fence, or the repair of any existing fence.

“Under the directive the only possible use for the land without further planning permission is agricultural.”

Noad and Griston, both of Kent, were successfully prosecuted in April by the The City of London Police for running a London-based ‘boiler room’ scam which took in more than £10 million.

Their victims were conned into believing they would make returns of several hundred per cent from sites across the UK that were ripe for housing development.

In reality the land, located at Hulcote, near Towcester, Dumbarton in Scotland, and Collumpton in Devon, had little or no value, with much of it situated in the open countryside, flood zones or areas of historical or environmental significance with no prospect of gaining planning permission.

After pleading guilty in December, and combined with a scam in relation to Carbon Credits, Noad and Griston were jailed for four years and eight months each and disqualified from being company directors for 10 years at the Old Bailey on April 22.