Page last updated at 07:58 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 08:58 UK

Fear for Leeds Lumiere skyscraper deposits

The 54 storey Lumiere Tower 1 would dominate the Leeds skyline

Investors who put money into a major building project are considering taking legal action against the developers after it was put on hold.

The £225m Lumiere scheme in Leeds, which would include one of Europe's tallest residential buildings, was put on hold due to the economic downturn.

Millions of pounds worth of deposits were frozen and now some investors want their money back.

The developer, Frasers Property, said it still planned to build Lumiere.

The project, which was approved by council planners in 2007, includes two glass towers of 54 and 32 storeys, with a winter garden linking them.

More than 600 of the 952 apartments which make up the towers had been sold when the scheme was put on hold in 2008.

Contracts held

Building work started in 2007 but the Wellington Road site is now derelict.

Charles Stuart, from Bradford, bought an apartment in 2007 and paid a £6,000 deposit.

He told BBC News: "They need to tell us where our money is, we need proof that it's definitely safe, paper proof that it's definitely safe.

"We need them to be open with us, do they really want to go ahead with the build or are they just stringing us along."

Lumiere development site
Building work started in 2007 but the Wellington Road site is now derelict

Adam Pomson, who paid a £14,000 deposit, said he was taking legal advice to see if he could get his money back.

He said: "I am worried that my deposit might be trapped indefinitely because they haven't technically cancelled the development, they can do what they want with our money.

"Certainly the global economy has had it's impact on all schemes and this is probably one of them, but that doesn't change the fact that companies have disappeared, people aren't returning calls and no one can really tell us what's going on.

"As far as I'm concerned there's never any excuse for that."

In 2009 developer K W Linfoot, which was responsible for the Lumiere scheme, went into administration.

The company said Lumiere would not be affected, as it was being taken over by their venture partner Frasers Property.

Frasers Property said it still intended to build Lumiere.

"Purchasers are still held to their contract and the deposit is covered by Zurich insurance," it said.

"We are not in a position to give a timetable at this point as there are clearly matters to be resolved before this can be achieved."

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