A HUSBAND and wife who sued the people who sold them their home for not telling them that a motel was being built next door have won a High Court legal battle.

Adrian and Lisa Powell have now been awarded the return of their £108,500 deposit for the house behind Mollie’s motel off the A420 near Oxford.

The American diner and 79-room motel was built by exclusive private members’ club Soho House and its grand opening early in 2019 was attended by Jeremy Clarkson, Paloma Faith and Declan Donnelly.

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The Powells, however, claimed they had no idea the multi-million pound development was even on the cards next door to their new dream home in Buckland.

Now a High Court judge has sided with them and ruled that the couple who sold them the house knowingly withheld the information.

Oxford Mail:

As well as ordering them to pay the Powells back their deposit, he also awarded nominal damages.

The Powells found Lake Barn in the parish of Buckland in 2017 after searching for a home with land for horses for some years.

They made an offer of £1m to the owners, Philip and Elisabeth Ash, who accepted, and the couples exchanged contracts and the Powells paid their deposit.

Oxford Mail:

The sale proceeded as normal and Mr and Mrs Ash began to prepare for a life in France.

However just before completion, Mr Powell discovered the motel plans while checking Vale of White Horse District Council’s planning website.

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To his horror, he saw planning permission granted in 2016 to build the 79-room motel and diner.

It was to be built on land that they had believed to be ‘untouchable’ green fields along their boundary.

Oxford Mail:

Declan Donnelly and Paloma Faith join the grand opening of Mollie's Motel and Diner. Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Soho House

But worse than that, they also discovered Mr and Mrs Ash knew about the development – because they had personally objected to the planning application.

Yet despite that, when the Ashes filled out a conveyancing form for the house sale, they said that there were not any proposed developments nearby.

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The Powells, who had got rid of old possessions and spent more than £15,000 on bespoke new furniture, said they were devastated.

The couple sought legal advice and decided to rescind the contract based on that advice – the day before completion.

Mr and Mrs Ash refused to accept this and had the deposit paid to them by their solicitors.

Oxford Mail:

Richard Bacon and Jeremy Clarkson join the grand opening of Mollie's Motel and Diner. Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Soho House

The Powells took their case to the High Court last year, and finally won a judgement this month.

The judge not only ruled that the Ashes had withheld the information about the diner and motel plan, he also said that the couple clearly considered the prospect of the development to have decreased the quality of their property.

After the sale fell through, Mr and Mrs Ash sold Lake Barn just before the trial for a reduced price.

It is understood they now live in rented accommodation in Oxford.