CALA GROUP Ltd - Liaisons

CALA Homes purchased Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells, in April 2002.

When CALA's name popped up in Tunbridge Wells, little was known to us about CALA Homes intentions regarding Telephone House. Our MP Archie Norman wrote to the Director of Cala Homes South and residents hoped CALA's bosses would not find us presumptuous in pointing out the many flaws of Crest's plans and the fact that Councillors, neighbours and residents (almost everyone, except a few officers of TWBC) find this development unacceptable.

Time has passed on and now we know more about CALA Group, CALA Properties and its Executives. We know more about their financial links and their connections. We know about opposition to their various developments.

In January 2003 CALA Homes still intend to implement a planning application which they bought from Crest Nicholson Residential and which is known to themselves as "rotten apple". Telephone House Neighbours are curious to find out to whom CALA Homes wish to sell flats, the plans which everyone agrees, are defect.

10.12.2002 - Is anyone else opposing CALA Homes developments?
The Telephone House neighbours scanned the Internet to find out.

CALA Group Ltd
Adam House, 5 Mid New Cultins
Edinburgh, EH11 4DU
Tel: 0131 535 5200, Fax: 0131 535 5201, e-mail:

The Executive Chairman

- 31.03.2002 - The Annual Report - The Scottish Mortgage and Trust Plc informs on :
"G A Ball. Geoffrey Ball is executive chairman of CALA Group Ltd, having led the Management Buy Out in 1999. He is president of the House Builders Federation of England and Wales. He was for 13 years a director of The Standard Life Assurance Company. He is 58 and was appointed a Director of The Scottish Mortgage and Trust PLC in 1983."
- 09.07.2002 - On
BBC's Panorama Geoff Ball crows that "affordable housing" [meaning social housing] burdens developers, but is not interested when it comes to reality [An entire block of flats of Telephone House Development consists of social housing. His directors are aware that York Road and parallel running streets accommodate further social housing and many flats are occupied by DSS tenants]. Councillors had proposed that would CALA be prepared to file a new planning application the 106 agreement could be reviewed.

Where is the money coming from to finance CALA Homes projects ?

- 1999
Management buyout, supported by the Bank of Scotland and led by 10 senior staff, wins a contested bid for the Company, valuing it at £ 93 million and takes it private.

- 6 February 2002
Work has begun on the £ 50 million Lancefield Quay riverside apartment project in the heart of Glasgow. In their first joint venture, Miller Homes Ltd and CALA Homes Ltd will create 261 riverside apartments in the hub of the city’s regeneration area.

- March 2002
£ 20 million Joint Venture of CALA Homes Ltd with Morrison Homes Ltd, Edinburgh, to convert City Hospital, Edinburgh. Backed by development finance from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh.

- May 2002
CALA's internet site reveals that the Bank of Scotland secured CALA Group with an injection of £ 50 million :

"With an existing contracted land bank planned to generate turnover in excess of £ 1 billion, CALA will use the additional funds to strengthen this position further and secure larger longer-term sites in all of its areas of operation. The £ 50 million joint venture with the Bank of Scotland is part of the Edinburgh-based Group’s strategy to grow its business organically and create greater shareholder value.
The 50/50 joint venture company,
CALA Land Investments Ltd , will finance the acquisition of consented and unconsented land that will subsequently be developed by CALA Homes."

- 19 November 2002
CALA Properties has completed a £ 30 million pre-funding deal with the German fund Internationales Immobilien-Institut GmbH (iii-Fonds), Munich, Germany, for a major office development in Glasgow city centre. Stewart Mackay, is Managing Director of CALA Properties.
Internationales Immobilien-Institut GmbH, more commonly known as "iii-Fonds", was established in 1958 and is a subsidiary of HypoVereinsbank AG.
Principle shareholder: Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG, Munich, Germany -
Shareholders: Viktoria Lebensversicherung AG, Düsseldorf, Germany

- 2003
New build apartments released OFF PLAN - What does it mean?
CALA may try to sell before they build - examples: Chislehurst, Kemnal Park, Kemnal Road, BR7, or Bourne Meadow, Chertsey.

Would you buy a property that hadn't been built?
- 18 January 2003 - Catherine Moye explains in
The Daily Telegraph :
"Buying off-plan involves signing on the dotted line and parting with 10 per cent of the cost of a property before it is even built.
In a growing market, buying off-plan is advantageous, as the property will have increased in price before it is even finished. During a recession, however, the opposite can happen and the property might be worth less that you paid for it. Developments can be delayed; ceiling heights are not always guaranteed and specifications, especially the finishes in bathrooms and kitchens, can fall way short of the brochure mock-ups".

CALA Homes (South) Ltd
Burgan House, The Causeway
Staines, Middlesex TW18 3PR
Tel: 01784 225300, Fax: 01784 225301, e-mail:

John Allan, Operating Company Managing Director, joined Livingston Development Corporation Estates Department where he trained as a chartered surveyor before joining CALA Homes (Lothian) as a Land Buyer in 1987. He joined CALA Homes (South) as Land Director in 1995 and has operated as Regional Director (South Thames) for the last 15 months. John Allan succeeded Robert Millar as Managing Director of CALA Homes (South) in October 2001.

link to housebuildermagazine of

- November 2001 - People and appointments: John Allan, the new managing director of CALA Homes South
"Even a perfectly-drilled mafia of highly ambitious Scottish accountants, however, recognises that it is occasionally advisable to raise one’s profile. ....
Overnight, land prices came down by 35-40% and the peripheral sites were struggling badly. We had some deals on the books which suddenly looked ridiculous . . ."

CALA Homes is interested in Internet, too

The easylivinghome is a partnership between CALA Homes, Stiell Networks, Polaris Telemetry, Cisco and Linn Products Ltd.
As Scotland's first e-home, it aims to show just how far Internet technology is a part of our everyday lives, breathing new possibilities into household appliances and proving the vision that the Internet is 'changing the way we work, live, play and learn'.

Is CALA Homes really going ahead with THAT scheme?

Whom are we dealing with? - The developers of Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells

The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the high density development on Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1.