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Home » Battle Of The Sandbanks Millionaires: Shopping Channel Tycoon Wins Bitter £500,000 Legal Fight With £300m Meat Mogul Neighbour After Nearly Coming To Blows Over Who Owns Boundary Wall

Battle Of The Sandbanks Millionaires: Shopping Channel Tycoon Wins Bitter £500,000 Legal Fight With £300m Meat Mogul Neighbour After Nearly Coming To Blows Over Who Owns Boundary Wall

A shopping channel tycoon has won a bitter £500,000 legal fight against his meat mogul neighbour after nearly coming to blows over who owns the boundary wall.

Robert Heffer, 55, clashed with his neighbour, Ashley Faull, 57, who built a £20m fortune through TV shopping channels, over ownership of a ten-foot high wall dividing their plots of land in Sandbanks near Poole, Dorset.

Mr Heffer, whose family were said in court to be worth over £300m, and wife Lisa had bought a building plot in October 2018, with the intention of constructing their ‘dream’ home on the seafront.

But they came into conflict when Mr Heffer accused Mr Faull’s construction workers, who were erecting nine luxury flats, worth over £20 million on the plot of land, of working too close to the boundary wall that he owned. 

The row over the boundary wall stalled Mr Faull’s building project at a crucial point, he said, forcing him to relocate the works away from the wall and draw up a radical redesign. 

The £20m development in Sandbanks, Dorset, built by Ashley Faull’s company Waterfall Developments Ltd

The wall at the centre of the multimillionaires neighbours row in Sandbanks. The row over the boundary wall stalled Mr Faull’s building project at a crucial point

‘It’s our wall. Fact,’ Mrs Heffer told her neighbour, before Mr Heffer added that ‘they would injunct him and call police if he touched the wall’, claimed Mr Faull.

However, it later transpired it was a jointly owned party wall, which Mr Faull’s workers had been entitled to demolish.

Mr Faull’s company went on to sue his neighbours for misrepresentation, claiming £331,260 in wasted building costs.

After a three-day trial at Central London County Court, Recorder Jamal Demachkie ruled that the couple had lied when they said they owned the wall, and hit them with a £500,000 court bill.

‘There was an intention to deceive behind the statement,’ said the judge, adding that the couple misled Mr Faull, knowing that he or his company, Waterfall Developments, was intending to begin building on the land.

‘The statement was made with the purpose of preventing…the removal of the wall and interference with the Heffers’ privacy,’ he went on.

Mr Faull’s company, Waterfall Developments Ltd, was awarded £357,507 compensation – including interest – while the Heffers were also ordered to pay out £147,000 towards its lawyers’ fees, pending a full assessment of the bill.

Ashley Faull – outside Central London County Court. Mr Faull’s company, Waterfall Developments Ltd, was awarded £357,507 compensation – including interest

Robert & Lisa Heffer outside Central London County Court. The Heffers were ordered to pay out £147,000 towards its lawyers’ fees, pending a full assessment of the bill

Mr Heffer comes from a dynasty of meat barons, with dad Robin having founded wholesalers RWM

Mr Heffer comes from a dynasty of meat barons, with dad Robin having founded wholesalers RWM.

Mr Faull claimed in court that the Heffer family is worth ‘between £300m-£400m’, while he said his own fortune amounted to between £10m and £20m.

The row centred on ownership of the wall between the Heffers’ building plot at 40 Dorset Lake Avenue, Poole, and his own land next door at number 38.

Waterfall Development’s builders had to relocate their foundations away from the wall in a costly redesign following the neighbours’ face off, the court heard.

But Mr Faull later accused Mr Heffer and his wife Lisa of lying about who owned the wall after he was told by the previous occupant that it was in fact jointly owned.

The wall was later demolished, although the building works were completed in line with the redrawn plans to save even more money being wasted.

In court, Lisa Heffer insisted she only ever said, ‘I believe the wall is ours’ and that the previous owner had told them this.

The couple later claimed that they had gleaned their information about the wall from discussions with another neighbour, who knew about its status from the plot’s previous owner.

But the judge found that the conversation ‘never took place and was invented after it became clear that they had been caught out by their lie’.

Both Mr Faull and Mr Heffer accused each other of ‘bullying’ behaviour during the litigation, and in court Mr Faull claimed his neighbour once ‘challenged him to a physical fight’.

In the witness box, the Heffers’ barrister, Duncan Kynoch, challenged Mr Faull that he had attempted to intimidate his neighbour with the threat of litigation, which he denied.

‘I put it to you that you are a wealthy, litigious and manipulative bully,’ he told the property tycoon, adding: ‘I suggest that’s your character, I don’t expect you to agree with me but I am putting that to you.’

Mr Faull, who denied being ‘litigious’, replied: ‘I’m certainly not as rich as the Heffers, I think as a family they’re worth between £300-400million, I have only a fraction of that.

‘As to bullying, that’s one of Mr Heffer’s nicknames – ‘the millionaire bully’.’

Commenting on claims that he threatened the Heffers with litigation, Mr Faull insisted he was the victim, claiming: ‘he’s twice challenged me to a physical fight and he also basically made an implicit threat that the last thing I wanted was an ongoing dispute with a neighbour’.

In one incident, Mr Heffer ‘threatened me by saying that, but for the Covid restrictions, he’d like to come to my house and take me outside’, the court was told.

Waterfall’s barrister Gregory Pipe said that Mrs Heffer had lied about the wall because she wanted to protect her privacy.

‘When you told him that, the reason you did so was to persuade the developer – either him or the company – not to take down the wall,’ he put to her.

But Mrs Heffer told the court: ‘I wasn’t persuading anybody, I was just saying to him that I believed it was our wall – then he would have the judgment to do whatever he wanted.’

Mr Heffer – also a property speculator – previously sparked controversy over building at Sandbanks when some residents objected to a glass balustrade erected on top of another £2m house they own nearby.

The full amount of the court bill now faced by the Heffers will be calculated at a later date.