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Penpol's chief is declared bankrupt

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: January 07, 2009

A PROPERTY magnate with a mass development vision for Newquay has been declared personally bankrupt.

A man who once stood at the top of the property pile as director of Penpol, Steve Beasant was declared bankrupt at Truro County Court on December 31.

Led by Travis Perkins, the bankruptcy petition was believed to have been supported by £3.5 million worth of other creditors.

The news comes a month after the Newquay Guardian revealed that millions of pounds were owed to creditors by several of Mr Beasant's companies.

Having been declared bankrupt, it is now illegal for him to become a director of a company and he can play no role in the actions of his companies.

Speaking this week, Mr Beasant said he and his family now face financial ruin.

"Me and my family have gone for several million," he said.

"There is nothing hidden away – no money elsewhere – like some have suggested.

"I have to just focus now on keeping going, keeping my head above water and keeping myself alive."

Mr Beasant said he disputed the bankruptcy petition led by the creditors.

"I didn't agree with it and disputed the case but the court didn't listen to me," he added.

"It will now be handed over to the receivers to deal with. I have no problem in sitting down with them and assisting them with the estates.

"It got to the point where there was no coming back and they (receivers) will now deal with everything."

Documents seen previously by the Newquay Guardian show the Bank of Ireland sent formal demands to directors of Penpol Homes 4 Ltd – a subsidiary company covering the flagship Woodlands development in Pentire – demanding more than £5.5 million.

The news comes after two of Mr Beasant's other companies were placed in compulsory liquidation – where the court makes an order for the company to be wound up. Penpol Homes Ltd and South West Construction Services Ltd – the construction arm of Penpol – are in compulsory liquidation while Platinum Developers Ltd, another property development company, is in the hands of a Law of Property Act (LPA) Receiver.

Platinum Developments Ltd remains in liquidation with more than £4.3 million owed. Elsewhere, the Tregarn Hotel site, on Pentire Crescent, has also now had an LPA Receiver appointed in the form of Plymouth-based Edward Symmons. The Official Receiver will now look over Mr Beasant's assets and a trustee in bankruptcy is set to be appointed by the end of the week. This will determine what assets are eligible to be sold in order to repay debts to creditors.

Penpol had six sites in prime locations in Newquay, including the Fistral Bay Hotel and Woodlands in Pentire and the Felicia Hotel on Henver Road.

Several Pentire residents told the Newquay Guardian they were now hopeful that many of the abandoned, derelict sites owned by Penpol would be rescued.