Payout for boat damage caused by Spinnaker Tower building work

A former millionaire has been given a £200,000 payout for damage caused to his powerboat during the building of the Spinnaker Tower.

Wensley Haydon-Baillie said his 103-ft boat Brave Challenger, which used to be one of the fastest in the world, was damaged by falling gravel while moored at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.

The ex-pharamceutical tycoon attempted to sue Portsmouth City Council for more than 17m.

But tower builders Mowlem have now agreed an out-of-court settlement of 200,000 with Mr Haydon-Baillie.

The money will be covered by insurance and includes court costs.

Council solicitor Anne Bevan told councillors: 'It is excellent news that the matter has finally been put to rest.'

Mr Haydon-Baillie, the son of a surgeon from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, was once one of the 50 richest men in the country after working his way up in the pharmaceutical industry.

He owned Rolls-Royces and used to have his own aviation museum.

He also owned Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire – one of the biggest private homes in Europe with 360 rooms.

In the 1980s he invested millions in a firm that claimed to have a cure for herpes.

But it never materialised and in 1998 he admitted to debts of 13m.

In recent years Mr Haydon-Baillie, who used to live in Old Portsmouth, has gone to court with various claims.

He had served all 42 Portsmouth city councillors with a High Court writ in December last year in connection with the damage to his boat. It named them individually as defendants in the case.

But city solicitor Michael Lawther said there was no basis for the claim.

Deputy Tory leader Cllr Alistair Thompson said: 'I am absolutely delighted that this has been resolved.

'I know that there were a number of members who were concerned about receiving the letter, particularly as it was the first time a lot of them had heard about the damage to the boat.

'I'm really pleased it has been settled so quickly and the most important thing is that it has been settled without costing the taxpayer a single penny.'

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