Crescent Link firm insolvent

AN administrator has been appointed to one of the companies behind plans for a huge new mixed-use development at Londonderry’s Crescent Link, it’s been revealed.

Just before Christmas the Sentinel reported how GSB Guernsey Trading Ltd. and GML (NI) Ltd’s plan to bring Sainsbury’s to the Crescent Link was rejected because, planning officials say its 8000 square metres floorspace makes it “too large in terms of trade diversion.”

Notwithstanding this, Planning Minister Alex Attwood said a revolutionary joint mixed-use application by GSB and GML to bring health facilities, office space and smaller retail to the zoned land around the new Premier Inn may get the go ahead in future if certain elements are tweaked.

He said this was because it would bring “added-value” to the city.

It’s now emerged that GSB Guernsey Trading Ltd. is insolvent and John Hansen from KPMG has been appointed as an administrator.

According to the official and business paper The Belfast Gazette, Mr Hansen was appointed in the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland Chancery Division (company Insolvency) on January 11.

The revelation follows a separate report in this paper last month that the company behind the bid to bring ASDA to the Waterside is controlled by the Newry-based Murdock family, which transferred a number of loans from other companies it controls to the Irish Government’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) back in 2010.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood’s decision to approve Genova North West’s proposal to bring ASDA to the Crescent Link Retail Park received a broad welcome in Londonderry shortly before Christmas.

The approval of Genova North West’s application allows ASDA to proceed with a planned £30m investment at the Crescent Link Retail.

In September 2011 it was revealed in the accounts of three companies controlled by the Murdock family that loans had been transferred to NAMA.

The companies concerned were Clyduff, Rathdrum Properties and Murdock Nursing Homes.

Clyduff’s accounts revealed that the company’s Bank of Ireland loans were taken over in October 2010.

The accounts for Murdock Nursing Homes and Rathdrum Properties revealed their loans were transferred to NAMA in November 2010