THE OFFICE – Top Drama Producer Forced To Move London Offices

 

Twin Sisters - Oscar nominated film from HighpointInternational London-based film and TV producer and distributor Highpoint seems to have hit something of a low point in an otherwise meteoric sixteen year dramatic rise and rise, raising finance for TV dramas like the BBC's Shakespeare Retold and packaging and selling films like the Oscar-nominated Twin Sisters.

 

In what was certainly not a case of Much Ado About Nothing, the company looks as though it is going to have to move offices unexpectedly, because of the actions of Camden Council. The full story though, bears a strong resemblance to a Ricky Gervais script.

 

 

 

 

It seems Highpoint set up their operation back in 1990 in a smart Belsize mews address, but forgot to seek planning consent for change of use from housing to office space. The council, under the impression that 25 Elizabeth Mews NW3 was still a dwelling house, sent regular community charge demands, which were paid just as regularly by Highpoint.

 

Taming of the Shrew - Shakespeare as Retold by Highpoint for the BBCBelatedly, Camden borough officials discovered the wrong charge had been levied and that Highpoint should have been paying business rates, which also raises the question of backdated charges to recoup the public money involved, which could amount to a tidy sum, which may not be too much of a problem for a company that raises millions for dramas that are not so close to home. It’s not yet clear though, how Highpoint completed the forms for the electoral register so that the office residents might be able to cast their election ballots.

 

The rating error having been discovered, Highpoint immediately applied for planning permission for change of use of number 25, to an office upstairs and an office and dwelling downstairs. Camden Council refused permission, effectively making Highpoint homeless – or should that be officeless?

 

Highpoint have asked Camden Council to delay taking enforcement action for twelve months to give them time to relocate. To a house, or an office, one wonders….?

 

Further reading:

 

High Point Website

 

Camden Council Case File

 

 

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Comments   

0 # Highpoint Films officeGuest 2006-10-12 12:33
just been checking my own council tax banding is correct on www.voa.gov.uk, thought i\'d check out the address in quesiotn and it confirms that the office was registered only for Council Tax from 1993 to December 2005. Many previous visitors to the Highpoint office to meet their staff will of course find this odd...

in answer to the electoral registration point www.192.com has all the records and confirms that one of the directors on the company web site, Ronald de Neef, has been registering at 25 Elizabeth Mews as his home (naughty). He has recently re-registered at an address near by... which happens to be the same address as the other company director on the site, Carey Fitzgerald. I am not saying or implying any thing untoward here.... but trust they will be paying the erroneous shortfall in taxes a.s.a.p.!! 8¬)
0 # Highpoint Films officeGuest 2006-10-12 12:33
just been checking my own council tax banding is correct on www.voa.gov.uk, thought i\'d check out the address in quesiotn and it confirms that the office was registered only for Council Tax from 1993 to December 2005. Many previous visitors to the Highpoint office to meet their staff will of course find this odd...

in answer to the electoral registration point www.192.com has all the records and confirms that one of the directors on the company web site, Ronald de Neef, has been registering at 25 Elizabeth Mews as his home (naughty). He has recently re-registered at an address near by... which happens to be the same address as the other company director on the site, Carey Fitzgerald. I am not saying or implying any thing untoward here.... but trust they will be paying the erroneous shortfall in taxes a.s.a.p.!! 8¬)
0 # electoral registrationGuest 2007-01-01 08:56
If it was an office not a residence and the person who registered really lived somewhere else, then the electoral registration at the office was false, so surely an offence has been committed? When you sign the registration form it says something like:-

\"It is an offence to make a false statement on this form. The maximum fine is £1,000. As far as I know, the details on this form are true and accurate.\" Then you sign.

The forms in Lambeth certainly have this, so presumably Camden is the same.

High Point claim all the financial support schemes funded by the tax payers that are available eg Media Plus, UK Film Focus, so they should be required to pay the business rates they did not pay before (or do so voluntarily). Or have they got away with this?

37058
0 # electoral registrationGuest 2007-01-01 08:56
If it was an office not a residence and the person who registered really lived somewhere else, then the electoral registration at the office was false, so surely an offence has been committed? When you sign the registration form it says something like:-

\"It is an offence to make a false statement on this form. The maximum fine is £1,000. As far as I know, the details on this form are true and accurate.\" Then you sign.

The forms in Lambeth certainly have this, so presumably Camden is the same.

High Point claim all the financial support schemes funded by the tax payers that are available eg Media Plus, UK Film Focus, so they should be required to pay the business rates they did not pay before (or do so voluntarily). Or have they got away with this?

37058