barricades himself inside Solent fort
to prevent sale of his 5 star Hotel
London, March 07, 2008
NRI Harmesh Pooni, 42, of Birmingham, property developer has
barricaded himself at "No Man's Land Fort" in the Solent
and threatened 'invaders' with court action. It's only a matter
of time and his banner described, "you can have my fort when
you prize my cold dead fingers from the lighthouse."
Mr. Pooni said: "The fort is mine and no-one else has the
right to sell it. Even if they got an order to evict me I shall
carry on fighting it in the courts."
In 2004, he bought the 150-year-old No Man's Land Fort in the
Solent for £5m and and the fort was converted into a five-star
hotel with some 21 guest bedrooms and has two helipads. It is
surrounded by sea and features a swimming pool, sauna, gym, tennis
court, bars and a stunning central atrium. He rented it out for
£25, 000 per day and also gained planning permission to
build a 2 million pounds marina but it was shut down after the
bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease was found there.
No Man's Land Fort is one of the most unique and unusual venues
in England licensed for weddings. Offering seclusion and security
combined with pure luxury and high quality standards, it is an
ideal location for those wanting to keep away from the prying
eyes of the media. A stunning location and total privacy aside,
the Fort can provide a complete wedding package tailor made to
suit the individual occasion. From the initial enquiry to the
honeymoon, everything can be arranged to ensure a stress-free
No Man's Land Sea Fort is one of four forts built in the Solent
in the 19th Century to help protect Portsmouth, originally from
the threat of Napoleon though that had passed by the time of completion.
Subsequently, it played a strategic role in the defence of the
English Channel during WWI, and had anti-aircraft guns during
WWII. The nearest place to see the fort from land is The Esplanade
at Seaview, Nettlestone.
Island Pulse reported: The No Mans Land Fort is just one of
the assets being sold off by administrators at KPMG to recoup
up to £100m following the collapse of Lexi after an alleged
commercial property fraud. Shaid Luqman, the former young entrepreneur
of the year who ran Lexi, was jailed last year.
Pooni's financial backers have since gone bust and administrators
KPMG assumed ownership of the Grade II listed building and instructed
estate agents to put it on the market for £4m. KPMG spokeswoman,
- Mr Pooni has never been the freeholder of No Man's Land Fort
but was a director of Bob's Leisure Limited a company, which
was the registered freeholder of the fort, having purchased
it using monies borrowed from Lexi Holdings Plc.
- Bob's Leisure Limited went into administration on 26 October
2004 and Mr Pooni was made bankrupt on 23 January 2006.
- Lexi Holdings Plc were left as a creditor of Bob's Leisure
Limited as the loan had not been repaid.
- Mr Pooni is trespassing on the fort
Pooni has moved into the lighthouse and is refusing to allow
anyone to land on the fort either by boat or helicopter. The battle
is now set to move from the high seas to the High Court as it
is the subject of possession proceedings. he pasted notices on
all the windows and warning that he is the owner and that trespassers