Vermont has stopped construction on two Elliot Group projects in Liverpool; Aura, a 1,000-bedroom student accommodation scheme, and Infinity, a multi-phase residential project on Leeds Street.
The contractor was on site with the first phase of Infinity, a 38-storey tower made up of 416 apartments, the first block in a development which has consent for 1,000 apartments.
In a joint statement from Vermont and Elliot, Vermont said it had agreed to suspend work on two projects it is currently delivering in Liverpool.
The decision was taken in the wake of allegations made against Elliot Lawless, founder of Elliot Group, along with Nick Kavanagh, head of regeneration at Liverpool City Council, who were both arrested in December on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud, bribery and corruption. Both men were released on conditional bail. No charges have been brought and the police investigation is ongoing.
In a statement, Lawless described the allegations as “completely baseless”.
The £100m Aura is a student scheme on the edge of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, which was due to complete in September 2020. Phase one of Infinity was due to be handed over by December 2021.
Vermont said it is in talks with its supply chain to reassure all subcontractors that payment of all works to date will be met.
All of Vermont Group’s other projects are unaffected by this decision and all operations continue as normal.
A statement from Elliot Group said the developer expected to restart activity “following the satisfactory conclusion of outstanding legal matters”.
“We want to resume all works as quickly as possible and to ensure completion of the project for the purchasers and investors.”
Work remains ongoing at other live Elliot Group sites.