FORMER staff who lost their jobs after a homebuilder with permission for a huge south Warrington scheme collapsed have won a legal battle.

A site in Grappenhall Heys, to the south of Curzon Drive, east of Lichfield Avenue and west of Stansfield Drive, was set to be controversially developed by House by Urban Splash.

In 2021, the 228-home House by Urban Splash development on this land was granted specific approval.

However, in May 2022 the plans were thrown into doubt when House by Urban Splash went into administration.

In August this year, Homes England said it was seeking to appoint a new developer for the site by late 2023, and subject to planning being secured, for work to start in late 2024.

Now, Urban Splash staff who lost their jobs after the company went into administration have won their legal battle against the business after a tribunal judge ruled that it had failed in its duty to collectively consult with employees.

Law experts at Simpson Millar were instructed to pursue legal action amid claims that Urban Splash House staff were not consulted correctly, and redundancy consultation processes were not followed.

Impressions of how the site at Grappenhall Hays would look. Picture: House by Urban Splash

Impressions of how the site at Grappenhall Hays would look. Picture: House by Urban Splash

An employment tribunal hearing took place in Liverpool in September over two days, which found in favour of all of the claimants, with the judgment ruling that Urban Splash House Holdings had failed in its duty to consult with staff at risk of redundancy.

Simpson Millar’s Amanda McKinley said: “This is a particularly significant legal judgment which could set a precedent moving forward for other similar cases which involves employees that move from location to location because of their job roles.

“While the developer had argued that its collective consultation obligations were not triggered as not all staff were permanently based at the Manchester head office, we were able to demonstrate that they each had sufficient connections with the site.

“We are delighted that this ruling now paves the way to secure a payout in the form of a protective award which is at its maximum level.

“As a result of the employment tribunal judgments, our clients will now be compensated by up to 90 days’ gross pay, albeit at capped levels given that the company is insolvent.

“In this instance, our clients are delighted that the matter is now coming to a close so that they can finally move forward with their lives.”