Beware of Vane-Tempest developer - 400K lost in Devon project already built and sold



New Member
Hi, I’m property investor and bellow is my sad story how I have lost 400,000 investments plus 100,000 return promised by Vane-Tempest Company over his FoxHoles Ltd project.

This is by no way hoax story or rumours article. I just want to warn other colleagues of mine operating in UK property development business. England is of no difference from hi-risks emerging markets like Pakistan, Sudan or Brazil. There is no more gentleman’s word left in UK.

In short: It’s very bad experience. Lost more then 500.000 GBP already plus counting because of solicitors fees

So, in nutshell, back in 2016 been approach by my corporate advisor who had “excellent and reputable property developer” with star-performing results” property developer with exciting project – 4 houses in Devon, great location, “reputable” subcontractors and so on.

Nice looking prospects did promise me quick returns of 100.000K immediately after selling finished houses. All I needed to put down 300.000 GBP banker’s draft wire (it’s just like cash here in UK) wire in form of shares for new ventures.

I do admit that I didn’t had any possibility to check upon Chris Vane-Tempest reputation as nothing adverse was found on internet on that time. Plus it was small project, and me having built more than 3 million sq. meters of property, having big projects done in high-risk markets from Eastern Europe under my belt, didn’t even think it will be any problem in such pity project. As investor you try unknown waters first with small amount of money and if first step is accomplished you start considering bigger investments in person who proved to bring you profits.

So, after some consideration I did buy shares plus 90K emergency loan to company to start things digging. Even did travel to construction lot, where did find too much of diggers, cranes and so on. I think builders wanted to impress me with scale of operations, but my first thought was this is parking yard for all building machines drawn from neighbouring sites here. As 4 houses doesn’t require such huge quantity of equipment.

Anyway, it was my first warning bell I didn’t thought is serious. Common, we are in England, this is so differently from say Ukraine or Russia. Even if project will go wrong, have insurance companies to protect me anyway from fraudsters. I WAS SO WRONG THAT TIME!.

Well, 310+90K sent to Chris, being reassured of smoothness of the project, images and reports of on-going works being sent to my email address regularly through my adviser. Everything looks peachy on paper.

Later on emails being sent very occassionaly, fewer and fewer with time when completion being due. Asking my adviser, who did introduce me into this project, being answered back “just wait, some problems here and there, but we will make it through anyway”. Less and less of such hope-bringing answers in time.

Second warning bell did ring in my head when have found irregularities with my advisor Alistair , who did bring me into Vane-Tempest scheme. Alistair did some accounting for my other venture, running 2 floors office in heart of Mayfair, central London. I finally did see my advisor in real light and after some disagreements and endless ping-pong emails I did decide I need to keep away from him.

Remember that old saying: You are what your friends or partners around you. This old wisdom did prove itself again.

When contacted Chris Vane-Tempest about already missed deadline for his building project, he said he already warned Alistair about bankruptcy of main contractor on site and thus all my moneys are lost. I don’t know was it old “good-cop Chris – bad cop Alistdair” game or it was scam from the beginning in order to get my money and go bust – cannot claim anything until investigation and audit is under way.

Regardless of the audit outcome – ALL MONEYS ARE LOST at this stage.

Have found solicitor to start recovering my investment – he been very keen at first 2 meetings with Chris at his Vane-tempest office at Curzon – with his solicitor Charles and builder Lee Dunhill

Outcome of the first meeting: we did spend much more than we thought initially. Your money went to cover all this losses and we need even more to finish development. Houses and land are already under NatWest bank credit line freeze meaning bank will get all moneys first when houses will be sold. And then if anything left it will be divided between everyone else. Investors, Builders, contractors etc.

Christopher Vane-Tempest , Managing Partner & Investment Board Lee Dunnill, Legal Advisor of this particular venture, Hewlett Swanson LLP Charles Horner, Building & Development

Being property developer I know importance of keeping all records in time and having them ready for immediate review or audit by investors. Thus asked Charles, developer, to provide a copy of extra works and moneys figures for losses. 2 months later – nothing. When asked solicitor about urgency of having this paperwork as later on it’s very easy to cook reports the way you want. I don’t say it’s scum or negligence. I just want to find out why extra works they claim they had because of bad contractors are exactly of our moneys invested?!

They didn’t even provided us with waterfall plan – projection of moneys recovered from sales and how these money will be returned back.

Look, if folks at Vane-Tempest firm doesn’t want to cooperate with truth finding – it makes me thinking no transparency is here.

Scum? Gross negligence with running project? You decide.

Whatever the outcome of company audit – I lost my money. And they don’t promise any money to be settle down – not even a promise to finish this audit in time.

From my past experience – if you don’t help me to find out truth about doggy contractors they did hire – you are on their side. Simple as that.

Again, this is my personal experience with Chris Vane-Tempest venture.